…….In a battle of current and former 79th Assemby members,
Juan Vargas (San Diego) will duel Assemblywoman Mary Salas
(Chula Vista) for the 40th state senate nomination. Incumbent
senator Denise Ducheny is term-limited, so Salas and Vargas
will compete in the June 2010 Democratic primary.
There had been a few rumors of such a contest, but today Alan
Hoffenblum’s authoritative “California Target Book” declared the
race is on… and combined with Juan Vargas filing an Intention
statement, that is good enough for this correspondent.
Nothing is as rare as a seriously-contested state senate primary
in San Diego county. The last was in 2002, when Dennis Hollings-
worth of Riverside upset Charlene Zettel of Poway for SD 36. East
County activist JOEL ANDERSON was a major factor as Hollings-
worth won the San Diego county portion of SD 36 in a stunner.
TALE OF THE TAPE:
JUAN VARGAS AND MARY SALAS
(A) MONEY: big edge so far to Mary Salas. Most recent official filings
show Salas with $193,088 cash-on-hand, to only $8,900 for Vargas,
who is a relatively late starter.
(B) POPULATION: big edge here to San Diego-based Juan Vargas
over Chula Vistan Mary Salas. Both began their elected careers on
city councils, and the population of the San Diego City portion of SD
40 is roughly DOUBLE that of Chula Vista’s part! Three smaller towns
(Coronado, National City and Imperial Beach) will be up for grabs.
Juan Vargas is renowned for his work ethic, and unparalleled willing-
ness to walk precincts and talk to voters. Mary Salas’ #1 intangible
is her Gender: in most Democrat primaries, 55 to 60% of ballots are
cast by women, and they often lean to women candidates.
So… pull up a chair, pop some popcorn, and prepare to enjoy what
should be a Grand Show in Senate District 40. If Las Vegas made
election betting lines, this one would be “11 to 10, you pick ’em”.
The Taxpayer is the big loser no matter who wins.
I worked in Sacramento during Vargas’ time in office. Yeah, he was REAL business friendly. Like 5% of the time, usually right before a fundraiser where he was milking the insurance industry (hey, doesn’t he work for them now… wonder how that’s gonna play). The worst part about it was listening to the locals come up and crow about how business friendly Vargas was because they were charmed by him and didn’t monitor his votes. I mean Chamber types from down in San DIego, all the time. It was a big joke in Sacramento at the time how he could get them to do anything he wanted and vote against them every time.
Salas? She’s just an embarrassing nutjob. At least Vargas has some style.
I have been active in the South Bay for about fifteen years. Juan Vargas is one of the best roll models that a young person could have down here. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from USD. He wasn’t just a priest; he studied to be a Jesuit which is known for education, research and cultural pursuits. Vargas, the son of an immigrant family didn’t just go on to college; he went on to Harvard law school. We would be lucky to have man of such quality representing us in the State Senate. The average starting Salary for a Harvard Law Graduate is $155K/yr. Vargas isn’t into the Assembly for the money and he could work anywhere he chooses and make five the amount a State Senator makes. This is a man who lives a life of charity. If Juan Vargas goes to the State Senate we will have one of the most highly qualified humanitarians representing us in Sacramento.
South Bay Observer and The Big Loser is:
Thank you for your posts. It is interesting that both comments,
(one 100% postive, the other all negative) are about the same
candidate: the one who’s been out of office for 3 years !
This suggests that Mr. Vargas elicits stronger personal
reactions, both good and bad, than does Ms. Salas.
The purpose of my article was to hear reactions from those
who know the candidates, and you have given us colorful
descriptions of one of them.
Oh come on. Juan Vargas was the guy who was committee chairman for the state assembly’s insurance committee and accepted more than $200,000 in campaign donations from 2003-2004. And when he was termed out of the assembly exclaimed that there was no way he would go and work for the insurance industry, the very group he was to be the state’s watchdog over.
Juan Vargas has been an employee of an insurance company since leaving office.
Don’t sing me a song about jesuit priest and pious, self-effacing behavior because it’s just untrue.