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Cheryl Cox

39th Mayor of Chula Vista
Assumed office
Preceded by Steve Padilla
Personal details
Political party Republican

Cheryl Cox (born 1949) is the mayor of Chula Vista, California.


Cox, daughter of retired United States Navy Officer, John Willett. Cox, and her husband of 30 years, San Diego County Supervisor and former Chula Vista Mayor Greg Cox, have two daughters, Elizabeth and Emmie. Both Cheryl and her two daughters have graduated from Chula Vista's Hilltop High School.[1]

Cox received New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas Menino.

Cox, a Republican, was elected mayor in November 2006 in a runoff vote against incumbent mayor Steve Padilla. In her primary election in June 2006, she garnered 40.5% of the vote to then-Mayor Steve Padilla's 30.8%, and Councilman Steve Castaneda's 24.8% of the vote.

In April 2014 questions were raised about political interference by San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis in that election. In late 2005 Steve Padilla received a phone call from Dumanis asking him to support her employee Jesse Navarro for city councilman. Mr. Padilla did not comply. The phone call raises questions about possible political motivations for the ensuing prosecutions of a staffer of Steve Padilla and of Steve Castaneda. [1]

Cox, won re-election for Mayor in the June 2010 Primary election in a three person race by winning 56.3% of the vote, her opponent Councilman Steve Castaneda garnered 29.6% and Jorge Dominguez received 13.6% of the vote.

In April 2007, the Public Integrity Unit of San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis began prosecuting political opponents of Cheryl Cox. Patrick O'Toole, who had previously been appointed as US Attorney for San Diego by Attorney General John Ashcroft, headed the unit. O'Toole prosecuted a staffer for mayor Steven Padilla who had taken two hours off work in an effort to get a photograph of Cheryl Cox with her disgraced family friend David Malcolm [2] at a twilight yacht party fundraiser for Cox. The staffer was charged with five felony counts of perjury for telling a grand jury that he filled out his leave slip from work before rather than after he took off from his job at the City of Chula Vista. He pled guilty to lesser charges as part of a plea deal. [3] [3]

The now-dormant unit ended its active phase with a second and final prosecution, that of Steve Castaneda, who had run against Cheryl Cox for mayor. Castaneda was prosecuted for allegedly lying about whether he planned to buy a condo, even though he never bought the condo in question. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, "Castaneda was a tenant at the complex and was accused of seeking favors, such as free rent, from Sunbow owner Ash Israni, according to the 1,200-page grand jury transcript. The investigation found that Castaneda paid his rent and didn't ask for special treatment. O'Toole told the grand jury the perjury charges are warranted because Castaneda should be held accountable for 'lying about the facts'; even if no crime was uncovered...Castaneda has been vocal about O'Toole's investigations, saying they are politically motivated. He contended that Dumanis conspired with Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, his political rival in the 2006 mayoral primary." [4] [4]

Mayor Cox will be termed limited from office in December 2014.


  1. ^ "How much clout does Cox combo carry?". SignOnSanDiego.Com. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  2. ^ "Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Coalition Members". 
  3. ^ "DA unit works as quietly as it began". 
  4. ^ "Trial and Re-election bid could coincide". 

The information in the following two web pages was provided by Cheryl Cox's campaign:

  • Full biography for Cheryl Cox accessed 2006-12-30
  • Voter Information for Cheryl Cox accessed 2006-12-30

The following is Cheryl Cox's web page as mayor of Chula Vista:

  • Mayor Cheryl Cox City of Chula Vista accessed 2006-12-30

The following is a San Diego Union Tribune story about Cheryl Cox:

  • County official's wife aims to serve by Shannon McMahon The San Diego Union-Tribune Staff Writer, February 22, 2006 accessed 2006-12-30

The following reference contains raw data about the June 2006 primary election:

  • Election results accessed 2006-12-30

The following reference regards the DA unit that in 14 months prosecuted one person (for perjury regarding a leave slip from work):

  • DA unit works as quietly as it began By Tanya Mannes May 20, 2007 San Diego Union Tribune accessed 2008-1-26

Other sources of information about this subject

  • Padilla criticizes Cox's record on test scores, finances, secrecy By Tanya Mannes UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER October 13, 2006 www.signonsandiego accessed 2007-1-6
  • New authority figure Ex-teacher wants to bring a 'sense of order' to council By Tanya Mannes UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER October 19, 2006 www.signonsandiego accessed 2007-1-5
  • Steve Padilla is the Best Choice to Lead Chula Vista into the Future November 3, 2006 Editorial (Daniel Muñoz, editor) La Prensa San Diego accessed 2007-1-6
  • SHOCKED, SHOCKED TO FIND OUT THAT POLITICS TOOK PLACE IN THAT GOVERNMENT OFFICE By Bill Cavala April 3, 2007 California Progress Report accessed 2007-4-18
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