ruben major runs for oceanside mayor
Major announced his candidacy for Oceanside Mayor on September 11. (Photo: Ruben Major)

On September 11, Ruben Major, a business owner, paramedic educator and former candidate for California Secretary of State, announced his bid for Mayor of the City of Oceanside. Major joins others running for the mayor’s seat. Running with him are current Tri-City Health Board member, former Assembly member and former City Council member Rocky Chavez and current City Council member Esther Sanchez.

Major lives in Oceanside with his wife and three children. He had an unsuccessful run for Secretary of State in 2018 where he sought to highlight the importance of election integrity. He is running for the mayor’s seat because of what he calls “the greatest public health crisis this community has ever faced.”

“Homelessness has tragically and dramatically increased with the past few years and not enough is being done to address the problem. Our Fire Department is underfunded, and there are not enough stations or firefighters to keep our community safe,” Major said in a press release.

Major has focused his campaign against Rocky Chavez, a Republican, whom he calls his “biggest opponent.” Chavez is well-known in the City and has been successful with his City Council runs, along with his Assembly races. When Chavez decided to not run in the 76th Assembly District, he opted instead to run for Tri-City Hospital District. Many speculated at the time this was to remain in public office until the Mayor’s seat was up for election in 2020.

Chavez is a retired Marine Colonel and is popular in the region, especially among the large base of retired military voters in Oceanside. Chavez has had a divisive relationship with the State and local Republican parties because of his more moderate stances. This might prove challenging for Chavez moving forward if another Republican gets into the race. Another Republican rumored to be mulling over a run is current council member Jack Feller.

Major is also facing current, long-term city council member Esther Sanchez. Sanchez has sat on the council since 2000. Should she be successful in her run for Mayor, she will have spent 24 years on the council of the City of Oceanside.

Sanchez has been the source of controversy in recent elections. She ran for re-election in an at-large election in 2016, only to run again in 2018 in the first district elections in Oceanside. At that time, Sanchez, a Democrat, told her constituents she needed to run against the only other Democrat on the council because she needed to represent her district and retain her seat – even though she would have served another two years. Now Sanchez is running for Mayor and, should she be successful, will leave her District seat open after only serving two years in it.

Sanchez has involved herself in other district races. In Oceanside’s District Four, Michelle Gomez, a Democrat, is a declared candidate for the council seat. Sanchez has convinced a newly registered Democrat, Jane Marshall, to get into the race and run against Gomez.

This is not new behavior for Sanchez. In 2014, Sanchez convinced former Mayor Sheila Cameron to enter the Encinitas Mayor’s race against council member Tony Kranz, effectively handing that election to a Republican Kristen Gaspar. Sanchez has also run many campaigns for city council with her “Team Oceanside” where she has partnered with other Republicans, even when there have been Democrats in the race, to get them elected.

Major faces tough competition from Republicans, as well as fellow Democrats. “Career politicians in this community are putting their own best interests before the needs of our community,” he says. “Our people deserve leaders with integrity who will make the tough choices needed to get us back on track.”

While the election is still more than one year away, Major decided to declare his candidacy on September 11 because of his being a first responder and his affinity for public safety. Major has been a Paramedic for nearly 20 years and is an EMT/Paramedic trainer of the largest emergency medical services recertification training program worldwide. Major also holds a law degree and master’s degree in Military History. He announces his candidacy on 9/11 to honor first responders and their role in keeping our communities safe.

“As a First Responder,” Major said in his press release, “September 11th has special meaning for me. I know firsthand what it means to put your life on the line to help others and I know that seconds can mean the difference between life and death. I’ve managed mass casualty incidents, worked extensively with the homeless, and even been shot at on scene. First responders are our first line of defense in many situations, and we owe it to them and our entire community to ensure that they have the tools and skills they need to be successful and perform their duties safely.”

For more information on Major, you can visit his website or follow him on social media @rubenkmajor.


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