By Miriam Raftery
Photo, left to right: Janessa Goldbeck, Paul McQuigg, Amy Reichert, Monica Montgomery Steppes
June 7, 2023 (San Diego) – Yesterday was the deadline to file papers to run in in the special election to fill the vacancy on the County Board of Supervisors in District 4 left by Nathan Fletcher’s resignation.
Four candidates qualified to appear on the ballot for the special primary election August 15. If no candidate wins a majority, a run-off between the top two vote-getters will be held Nov. 7. The qualifying candidates are:
- Janessa Goldbeck, Marine veteran and CEO of Vet Voice Foundation
- Paul McQuigg, Military veteran and speaker for disabled veterans
- Amy Reichert, small business owner and founder of ReOpen San Diego
- Monica Montgomery Steppes, President Pro Tem of the San Diego City Council
A fifth candidate who pulled nomination papers, Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez, has announced that she decided not to run.
Scroll down for information on the District 4 candidates.
Janessa Goldbeck is a Marine Corps veteran who stood up for victims of sexual assault as a victims’ advocate in the military. Previously, she worked as a human rights advocate to protect civilians in conflict zones.
Sue currently serves as CEO of Vet Voice Foundation, a national nonprofit. Locally, she’s fought for affordable and middle-income housing, union jobs, equal pay for women particularly minority women, resources to prevent veterans’ suicides, LGTBQ services, “common sense” gun safety measures, and services for homeless youths.
She serves on the boards of the UCSD Chancellor’s Community Advisory Group, MANA de San Diego and the San Diego LGBT Community Center, the San Diego Mayor’s LGBT task force, and the County’s Behavioral Health Advisory Board. She calls herself an “avid explorer and advocate for the outdoors” as well as an “experienced policy advocate.”
Her endorsements include Democratic Congressmen Mike Levine, Juan Vargas and Scott Peters, former Congresswoman Susan Davis, California Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, and more.
Learn more about her candidacy at her website, https://www.janessagoldbeck.com.
Paul McQuigg was a gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps before a roadside bomb in Iraq left him with severe injuries. He is now a speaker and advocate for disabled veterans, adaptive sports and conquering challenges.
His military experience included leading Marines in combat duty as well as serving as liaison between military and community leaders in planning over 100 community events, according to his Linked In Profile.
As a civilian, he has worked as an emergency first responder instructor, police and fire commissioner for the city of Oceanside, firearms instructor, and scuba instructor.
Amy Reichert is a licensed private investigator and conservative activist. She became involved in politics during the pandemic, fighting to reopen businesses and schools. She founded the nonprofit Reopen San Diego. She holds a Master’s degree in Divinity and has served as a minister at Eastlake Church.
She says her priorities are lowering the cost of living, solving the homeless epidemic, and increasing public safety in communities.
Her endorsements include prominent Republicans such as Congressman Darrell Issa, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, and State Senator Brian Jones as well as the San Diego County Republican and Libertarian parties and California Parents United.
Her website is https://amyforsandiego.com.
Monica Montgomery Steppes is President of the San Diego City Council. She chairs the City’s Budget & Government Efficiency committee and serves on these committees: Public Safety, Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations, Active Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Rules committee. She also serves on the MTS Board of Directors, San Diego Workforce Partnership and other area agencies. Her leadership drew awards from Voice of San Diego, Alliance San Diego, and the San Diego Democratic Party.
She holds a law degree from Calif. Western School of Law. She has worked as a criminal justice advocate for the ACLU and as Senior Policy Advisor for the City of San Diego before her election to the City Council.
On the Council, she led efforts for police reforms and creating the Office of Race and Equity. She has supported increased support for small businesses and job training, investing in marginalized communities, building affordable homes for seniors and veterans, and increasing services for homeless people and those battling addiction.
If elected Supervisor, she wants to create jobs and opportunities for working families, invest in small businesses, raise the county’s minimum wage, invest in homeless shelters and services, support affordable housing, mental health services, parks, oversight of law enforcement and programs to improve public safety.
She is endorsed by prominent Democrats including Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber, La Mesa City Councilmember Patricia Dillard, San Diego City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera, Service Employees International Union Local 221.
Learn more at her website: https://www.monica4sandiego.com.
District 4 includes the East County communities of La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Crest, Dehesa, Casa de Oro, Spring Valley, Mt. Helix, and Rancho San Diego as well as San Diego neighborhoods including Clairemont, Hillcrest, Balboa Park, North Park, Bankers Hill, Old Town, Mission Hills, Normal Heights, University Heights, Oak Park, Valencia Park, Encanto, Bay Terraces, Paradise Hills, Birdland, SerraMesa, Civita, and parts of Grantville, City Heights, Rolando, Azalea Park, Chollas Creek, Rolando Park, Kensington, Talmadge, Mid-City, Montezuma Mesa, SDSU and Mission Valley.
The District 4 seat became vacant May 15, when the resignation of Fletcher took effect following allegations of sexual misconduct and a lawsuit filed by an MTS employee. Fletcher has denied the allegations, but resigned his leadership position at MTS as well as his supervisorial seat.