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By Miriam Raftery

Photo, top left to lower right:  Dr. LaShea Sharp-Collins, Mayor Racquel Vasquez, and Councilman Colin Parent.

February 25, 2024 (San Diego’s East County) – ECM reporter Jessyka Heredia has done in-depth interviews with all three candidates running in the 79th Assembly District.

All three are Democrats, and each has substantial public service experience.  LaShae Sharp-Collins, PhD, the party’s endorsed choice, is  the County Office of Education’s community engagement specialist, an adjunct professor at SDSU, and former district director for Assemblymember Shirley Weber, PhD.  Racquel Vasquez is Mayor of Lemon Grove and previously served on the city council and planning commission.  Colin Parent is a La Mesa Assemblyman and former director of external affairs for the California Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as past director of policy at the San Diego Housing Commission.

Each has many accomplishments and goals, which they highlight in our exclusive interviews. Vasquez and Parent tout their successful tract records of bringing new housing to their cities, while Sharp-Collins emphasized her expertise in education issues.. All spoke of their approaches to the state’s top issues including housing, homelessness, healthcare and education, as well as commenting on how the state might help the 79th Assembly district prevent future flooding.

Each candidate has faced controversy at times. Parent, who serves as general counsel for Circulate San Diego, has helped raise funds from developers for that nonprofit organization and has drawn criticism for supporting developer/donor interests on the City Council. Vaquez has drawn complaints from some residents over the city’s flood response and  storm drain issues . Sharp-Collins raised controversy, according to the Daily Aztec for a slave persona assignment.

Below are links to our exclusive interviews with each candidate for the March 5 primary election, listed in alphabetical order:

Colin Parent

LaShea Sharp-Collins

Racquel Vasquez

Find additional information in our earlier article on these candidates, who are running to fill the seat being vacated by Assemblymember Akilah Weber,MD, who is running for the State Senate.


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