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Cheryl Cox takes Chula Vista's mayoral seat

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Cheryl Cox, a school board member in Chula Vista and wife of County Supervisor Greg Cox, has officially defeated incumbant Steve Padilla for the Chula Vista mayoral seat. “Taking on an incumbent and surpassing them is really no small feat,” Cox said during an interview early Wednesday morning. “But I really attribute that to the outreach we did to the community.”

Bringing in about 55 percent of the votes, Cox will oversee a city that in the past few years has become one of San Diego County’s most rapidly developing cities. She also will oversee a government that is currently trying to court the San Diego Chargers football team to town. She said she will engage the Chargers in discussions, but said she would not support building a football field on the taxpayers’ dime.

“I’m a Charger fan. I’d like to see them stay in the region,” she said. “But building a football stadium is a very expensive venture. I can’t support a public subsidy with that. On the other hand I think that when a good – when a business comes to town and wants to work with the city, the responsible action is to sit down and talk.”

Padilla and Cox both fought a heated race, which culminated last week in a debate that carried a highly accusatory tone from both candidates.

In the run up to Nov. 7, Cox said that Padilla was not acting in the best interest of Chula Vista residents, and that he had taken numerous actions that we’re unethical or at best questionable.

Padilla, meanwhile, accused Cox of having a conflict of interest if elected, because her husband represents Chula Vista on the Board of Supervisors.

Cox beat Padilla in a primary on June 6, 2006, taking 40.6 percent of the vote, compared to the mayor’s 30.94 percent. However, because neither candidate garnered a majority, they were forced to face off in Tuesday’s runoff.

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