Rumors, gossip and muttered innuendos are the duct tape of political nattering. Given the circumstances they serve a variety of purposes.
The right tidbit, spoken in casual passing to a polit-ee (the equivalent of a smug, self-described foodie who treats you to a breathless recounting of a divine mint leaf stew served with boiled cacao they had at a roadside bistro in Nicaragua) can make the rounds from one wagging tongue to the next until finally the rumor has more truth to it then a one word answer from a priest under oath.
In a different context a rumor can serve as verbal recon, gauging the public’s reaction to an idea in an effort to determine where friend and foe lie in a political quagmire.
Whispered “I heards” are also useful for building a bond between two people who have nothing in common other than a bit of shared information, intel that establishes trust: an integral step in cultivating a valuable relationship.
And, of course rumors and whispers are also good for a few good contemplative chuckles.
Voters are more than a year away from having to elect a new mayor in Chula Vista or council member. And while the average resident might not be giving Campaign 2014 much thought, those who would be in power, or at least suck up to those who would be in power, are already thinking about not saying no to the idea of running for office because you never know what will happen if the family is OK with a possible candidacy. (That’s the thing about rumors, gossip and confirmation—rarely will a contender give you a straight answer.)
Chula Vista councilwoman Mary Salas is expected to run for mayor in ’14. During her campaign last year to rejoin the council for a third term, Salas deflected criticism she was merely looking for something to do until the current mayor left office. She never said she would run for the mayor’s seat, but she never said she wouldn’t.
Likewise, one of her anticipated opponents, councilman Rudy Ramirez, is also believed to be eyeing the office because his time on the council comes to an end next year. But like Salas, nothing official has been declared.
Not long ago La Prensa printed an item that said Councilwoman Pamela Bensoussan and former councilman Jerry Rindone were considering a stab at running for mayor. Add to that duo Shirley Horton, the former assemblywoman who was once a Chula Vista mayor, and you’ll add the name of a person who tops a lot of people’s wish list.
It’s an impressive compilation. But not for the reasons you might imagine. Of the five people listed only one of them has been away from the council during the last decade—Shirley Horton.
Rindone first joined the city council in 1990. Four years later he was re-elected to a second term. He joined the council again in 2000 and served eight more years. In dog years, that’s a total of 112 years on the city council.
Salas occupied City Hall from 1996 through 2004. After doing her time in the state assembly she came back to 276 Fourth Avenue last year when voters elected her to a third term in office.
Horton, on the other hand, left the mayor’s post at the end of an eight-year reign in 2002.
Of course it’s still speculation to think that any of these people will run for office in the coming year. But if they do and if they win—especially in the case of Salas, Horton or Rindone— never let it be said that Chula Vista voters aren’t into recycling.