Those who live in San Diego's District 7 will soon have a new representative.
Four candidates are vying to replace termed-out Republican Councilman Scott Sherman but only two will be left after the primary election votes are counted.
The contenders vying for Sherman’s seat are Democrats Wendy Wheatcroft, Raul Campillo, and Monty McIntyre, and Republican Noli Zosa.
“When we think of District 7, it is the one district that spans all the way from the east to the west,” said Raul Campillo.
District 7 is made up of neighborhoods spanning from Mission Valley and Linda Vista through Lake Murray, Tierrasanta and Miramar.
“If I can take on the gun lobby, I can take on anyone and tackle some of the bigger issues that our City is facing, like affordable housing, homelessness crisis and taking climate action," said Wendy Wheatcroft.
“Let’s make San Diego an affordable place to live,” explained Zosa. “The cost of housing, the rising taxes in our state, these things need to be addressed because if they don't we’re going to have more of an exodus of San Diego.”
Zosa is a small business owner and a founding partner of the San Diego restaurant chain Dirty Birds.
Zosa said he wants to bring new thinking and solutions to City Hall, such as looking to businesses to help support city budgets.
“I’ve been passionate about helping people that haven’t benefitted from today's economy and I will continue to do that, and that’s something that Republicans don't always necessarily talk about,” said Zosa. “But, we need to talk about uplifting all people from all income levels.”
Top issues for McIntyre, a longtime San Diego attorney, include changing City Hall's culture.
“We have to start making the right decisions the first time and we have to use our money wisely, and we have to prioritize the important things we need to get done for our citizens,” said McIntyre.
McIntyre also said housing is important to him.
“The problem we're having is we're building high-income luxury housing, we’re building some low-income housing and we’re missing the middle for hard working people like firefighters, police, school teachers,” said McIntyre. “We need to build the middle-income housing.”
Campillo a Deputy City Attorney and prosecutor said homelessness is top of mind for him, as it is a personal cause.
“My older brother, Alex, passed away from an opioid overdose, and understanding what he went through and seeing how so many people and a lot of homeless people are going through similar things, I really feel for them,” said Campillo. “I really want to approach this as a humanitarian problem and solve it.”
Wheatcroft is a former public school teacher and volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
“My role in the gun violence prevention movement is really what pushed me into politics,” said Wheatcroft.
Wheatcroft said she cares about housing and is already proposing a plan called “Community For All.”
“I think it’s really important that we bring vacant units to market, we have thousands of units being utilized as Airbnb’s and the City needs to enforce some laws that they already have in the books regarding short-term vacation rentals to bring those units to market for those who need it,” said Wheatcroft.
All four candidates do agree on one big issue: potholes.
“In their neighborhoods they want to have those streets fixed,” said McIntyre.
“The residents of District 7 are concerned about our streets and also that their commute times are getting longer and longer,” explained Zosa.
Campillo said he’s hopeful for a strong voter turnout since next Tuesday is also a Presidential primary.
“We’re asking them to look down the ballot and not forget the local issues really, really matter,” said Campillo.