Mary Salas

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Mary Salas
Mary Salas at Clinton Rally (1).jpg
Salas at a Hillary Clinton Rally in 2016
40th Mayor of Chula Vista
Assumed office
December 9, 2014
Preceded byCheryl Cox
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 79th district
In office
December 4, 2006 – November 30, 2010
Preceded byJuan Vargas
Succeeded byBen Hueso
Member of Chula Vista City Council from the Fourth District
In office
Succeeded bySteve Castañeda
Personal details
Chula Vista, California
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Sal Salas
ResidenceChula Vista, California
Alma materSan Diego State University
Southwestern College
OccupationSocial worker

Mary Casillas Salas is an American 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. She was elected Mayor of the city of Chula Vista in 2014.

Personal life[edit]

Salas' father, is one of 9 children of Felix and Urbana Casillas, who once lived in the La Punta adobe, after moving to the United States, through El Paso, from Mexico.[1] 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. 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.

Local offices[edit]

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.[2]

Salas ran for mayor against fellow city councilmember and political ally Steve Padilla in 2002, but lost. She was termed out of the city council in 2004.[2]

She served as a member of the Sweetwater Authority Board of Directors in 2006.[3]

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%.[4]

Mary Salas became the first Latina Mayor of Chula Vista, California in December 9, 2014.[5] She was reelected in 2018.

California State Assembly[edit]

Mary Salas and National City Mayor Ron Morrison celebrating the United States Navy's 234th birthday in 2009

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.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Schoenherr, Steve (12 December 2014). "La Punta". SunnyCV. South Bay Historical Society. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b San Diego Union Tribune, December 2, 2004
  3. ^
  4. ^ "General Election, Tuesday, November 6, 2012". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  5. ^ "U-T San Diego: Salas heads into mayoral seat, December 9, 2014".

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Cheryl Cox
Mayor of Chula Vista
December 9, 2014 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chula Vista City Councilmember
"District 4"

Succeeded by
Steve Miesen
Preceded by
Chula Vista City Councilmember
"District 4"

Succeeded by
Steve Castañeda
California Assembly
Preceded by
Juan Vargas
California State Assemblywoman
79th District

December 4, 2006 – November 30, 2010
Succeeded by
Ben Hueso