Chris Ward (American politician)

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Chris Ward
Chris Ward.jpg
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 78th district
Assumed office
December 7, 2020
Preceded byTodd Gloria
Member of the
San Diego City Council
for the Third District
In office
December 12, 2016 – December 7, 2020
Preceded byTodd Gloria
Succeeded byStephen Whitburn
Personal details
Born (1976-08-03) August 3, 1976 (age 45)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Thom Harpole
ResidenceSan Diego, California, U.S.
EducationJohns Hopkins University (BA)
Harvard University (MPP/MUP)

Christopher Ward (born August 3, 1976) is an American politician serving as a member of the California Assembly for the 78th district. Prior to his election to the assembly, Ward served as a member of the San Diego City Council, representing the Third Council District. He is a Democrat.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Ward was born in Germany in 1976.[2] He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Johns Hopkins University and a Master in Public Policy and Urban Planning at the Harvard Kennedy School.


He worked as an environmental planner at the firm EDAW, working with local government to develop land use plans and conduct environmental review, and as a researcher at the Ludwig Cancer Research at the University of California, San Diego. He then served as the chief of staff to State Senator Marty Block.

Chris is an active member[3] of the San Diego chapter of the Truman National Security Project.

San Diego City Council[edit]


In 2016. Ward ran for an open seat on the San Diego City Council representing District 3. District 3 includes the neighborhoods of Balboa Park, Bankers Hill/Park West, Downtown San Diego, Golden Hill, Hillcrest, Little Italy, Mission Hills, Normal Heights, North Park, Old Town, and University Heights.[4] Incumbent council member Todd Gloria ran for San Diego Mayor. Ward was elected in the June primary with a majority of the vote.[5]


As a councilmember, Ward has worked to identify measures that will significantly reduce San Diego's overall homeless population. These have included three temporary shelters to house 700 individuals, an additional storage facility to serve 500 clients, and a proposed centralized homeless navigation center. In July 2017 the City Council unanimously approved an Equal Pay Ordinance, proposed by Ward. The ordinance requires companies that do business with the city to pay their employees equally regardless of gender or race.[6]

In January 2019 the City Council approved a measure proposed by Ward that bans, for environmental reasons, the use of polystyrene (Styrofoam) for most retail uses including food service, egg cartons, and coolers. The ordinance also stipulates that single-use plastic items such as straws and eating utensils be available only on request. According to Ward, San Diego is the largest city in California to take this action.[7]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Active Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (Vice Chair)
  • Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee (Chair)
  • Land Use and Housing Committee (Vice Chair)
  • Rules Committee


California State Assembly[edit]

On January 24, 2019, Ward announced that he would be a candidate for the California State Assembly in district 78 to succeed Assemblyman Todd Gloria, who was running for mayor of San Diego.[9] Ward received the most votes and was elected to the Assembly in 2020.

2020 California State Assembly[edit]

2020 California's 78th State Assembly district election
Primary election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Chris Ward 69,125 55.6
Democratic Sarah Davis 34,410 27.7
Democratic Micah Perlin 20,741 16.7
Total votes 124,276 100.0
General election
Democratic Chris Ward 121,083 56.7
Democratic Sarah Davis 92,442 43.3
Total votes 213,525 100
Democratic hold

Personal life[edit]

Ward and his partner Thom are homeowners in University Heights, where they live with their two children.[10]


  1. ^ Trageser, Claire. "Democrat Chris Ward Wins Race To Replace Councilman Todd Gloria". KPBS Public Media.
  2. ^ "JoinCalifornia - Chris Ward". Retrieved 2021-08-07.
  3. ^ "About Chris". Chris Ward for State Assembly. Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  4. ^ "Communities - City of San Diego Official Website".
  5. ^ "Election History - Council District 3" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  6. ^ Bowen, Andrew (July 31, 2017). "San Diego To Mandate 'Equal Pay' Among City Contractors". KPBS. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  7. ^ Concepcion, Muriel (January 8, 2018). "City Council Votes to Ban Styrofoam Use in San Diego". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Office of the City Clerk". City of San Diego. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "About Councilmember Ward". City of San Diego. Retrieved 10 January 2019.

External links[edit]