By Elijah McKee
April 6, 2022 (Lemon Grove) — It’s an election year, and there’s a slew of seats up for grabs that impact East County — including a spot in the United States Senate, a race that has 23 current candidates.
One of the Californians vying for this slot in Congress is Dr. Myron Hall, a respected podiatric surgeon, former Naval Officer and combat veteran with ties to the San Diego region. On April 2, he addressed a room of old friends and colleagues at a Town Hall Meet and Greet in Lemon Grove, held at the North Park Apostolic Church.
“I knew that there was two people in my life that I could always call on,” said Teresa Knight as she introduced Dr. Hall that evening. “And he was one of those people.
“Just for encouragement,” she continued. “Just to be a voice, to speak some faith. And to let me know I was gonna be alright."
A registered Republican, Dr. Hall lived in San Diego while studying for his medical school admissions tests. He attended Bayview Church and worked at Union Bank during this time. After school, he returned to complete part of his three-year medical residency at Scripps Mercy Hospital, and in 2003, he was named the winner of the annual Mr. Black San Diego contest.
Dr. Hall’s medical ambitions eventually brought him to Los Angeles, where he began a private practice and joined the staff at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, the first African American podiatrist to do so. He became popular for offering house calls to his patients, many of whom were seniors or homebound, including in Compton and South Central, two underserved areas of the city.
Now, Dr. Hall hopes to care for the taxpayers as he has done for his patients.
“Our leadership for the last several years has, quite honestly, just failed,” said Hall from the church’s pulpit in Lemon Grove. “It is that hope, and faith in our country, that seems to be waning right now. And that’s why I decided to enter the race.”
He cited high inflation, especially of gas prices, as well as the fentanyl crisis and COVID-19 setbacks as issues where he would look to intervene if elected.
“My position for us is America first,” he said, critiquing the decision to release U.S. oil reserves that he would rather preserve for future generations. However, he did express his desire to end the war in Ukraine, through strengthening the U.S. military and fostering diplomacy.
“The Russian army is attacking civilians,” he said. “That should be our goal, to stop this. So, prepare our military, protect power, and always seek to promote peace. And I would verbalize that.”
On the topic of the pandemic, he emphasized the importance of listening to a large sampling of doctors, including those with therapeutic strategies on top of vaccines. He claimed not enough doctors were consulted.
“What I would have done was cut down on bureaucracy, and allowed the true talent, the medical doctors and epidemiologists around the country, to give input,” he said.
For the San Diego region specifically, he named tackling the issues surrounding housing as a priority, telling the audience how he himself was without a stable living situation throughout his senior year of high school.
“My approach to the homeless situation across the nation,” he explained, “ is a model where we combine corporate and government assets to address that social problem.”
Dr. Hall described how he envisions those experiencing homelessness being able to get back on their feet through employment, if they are fit to work, with a corporation that would receive tax breaks in return.
He also noted securing the border and supporting law enforcement as local priorities.
The opening in the Senate he will jockey for was formerly held by now Vice President Kamala Harris. When Harris had to vacate her Senate position, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed then Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill the seat. However, with the 117th Congress coming to a close after this year, the position is now subject to a vote. Senator Padilla has announced that he will be in the running.
Yet there will be not one, but two full blown elections for this Senate seat. A special election will appoint someone for the final weeks of 2022, which will finish Harris’s term, and then a general election will fill the seat for a full six year term starting on January 3, 2023. The same person could win both, or different individuals could hold office during the two terms, one of them for just a matter of weeks.
Dr. Hall explained during his visit in Lemon Grove that he has entered the race for both elections. He told attendees that even if he were only elected for a short term, he would do it to the best of his ability.
The primary for both ballot items will be on June 7, 2022 and East County residents can register to vote at sdvote.com.
For a full list of all candidates running in this race, see https://www.sdvote.com/content/dam/rov/en/election/2022June/Candidate_List.pdf#.