Mary Salas is a California politician from Chula Vista, California. She is a former California Assembly member who represented the 79th Assembly District from 2006 to 2010. She ran for the California State Senate in 2010 but lost. In 2012 she was elected to the Chula Vista City Council, a position she previously held from 1996 to 2004.
Salas was born in 1948 in Chula Vista. She married Sal Salas in 1967 at the age of 19 and became a stay-at-home mom. After 17 years she and her husband divorced, though they remained close. At the age of 37, Salas enrolled in San Diego State on her way to earning a bachelor degree in social work. In college, she became involved with MANA de San Diego, a women's organization that mentors young Latinas, which led her into city politics.
In 2005, on what would have been their 38th wedding anniversary, Mary and Sal married each other for the second time. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.
Salas served as a member of Chula Vista's Civil Service Commission and Planning Commission. In 1996 she became the first Latina elected to the Chula Vista City Council in 1996; she was re-elected in 2000. As a councilwoman, she chaired the University Working Group to establish a higher education center in the region and co-chaired the Blue Ribbon Committee for the “San Diego County Preschool for All.” She gained a reputation as a member who was willing to speak her mind. She fought to expand Chula Vista's participation in cultural arts.
She served as a member of the Sweetwater Authority Board of Directors in 2006.
In 2012 she ran for re-election to the Chula Vista City Council, representing District 4. In the November runoff election she defeated Linda Wagner, 57.6% to 42.3%.
California State Assembly
Salas was elected to the California State Assembly in 2006, defeating Jean Roesch. She represented the 79th district which includes the communities of National City, Coronado, Imperial Beach and parts of Chula Vista and San Diego. Salas was appointed Chair of the Committee on Veterans Affairs in 2007. She also served on the following standing committees: Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy; Water, Parks and Wildlife; and the Committee on Health. She was re-elected in 2008. In 2010 she campaigned for California State Senate but lost narrowly to Juan Vargas.
- Goodwin, Jenifer (June 18, 2006). "Second time's the charm for Sal and Mary Salas". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- San Diego Union Tribune, December 2, 2004
- "General Election, Tuesday, November 6, 2012". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- Smith, Dan (April 10, 2011). "What California needs: Better drivers in the legislature Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/04/10/111929/what-california-needs-better-drivers.html#storylink=cpy". Sacramento Bee, cited by McClatchy News Service. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
|Chula Vista City Councilmember
|California State Assemblywoman
December 4, 2006—November 30, 2010