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Three Candidates Challenge Incumbent In San Diego’s District 4 Council Race

The four candidates competing in the race of San Diego's district four city c...

Above: The four candidates competing in the race of San Diego's district four city council seat, left to right, Myrtle Cole, Monica Montgomery, Neal Arthur and Tony Villafranca, are seen in these undated photos.

San Diego's fourth city council district is a collection of working-class neighborhoods tucked in the eastern part of the city. Communities like Chollas View, Skyline and Paradise Hills sit in an area known for rolling hills and diversity.

The Diamond Business Association works to promote the region's commercial ventures. Association President Carlos Vasquez describes the district as one that has long been short-changed at city hall.

"Working-class people that are struggling to make ends meet and lacking in all the basic services that most of the city already enjoys," he said.

Vasquez said he would like to see a council member who helps make sure residents there get a fair shake.

There are four candidates on the primary ballot.

Incumbent City Council President Myrtle Cole said she will fight for funding and services to improve the community.

Cole promises to focus on bringing jobs to the region, as well as affordable housing. She wants to see more grocery options and points to her effort to lure the first drugstore south of State Route 94.

Monica Montgomery said she will work for economic opportunity and safe communities. She promises to deliver a voice downtown to fight for the resources the community needs.

Montgomery said criminal justice reform and transparency in government are also important to her.

Neal Arthur wants to make the office more responsive to the community. He said his experience as director of housing for the Urban League of San Diego helped him understand affordable housing.

Tony Villafranca is a pro-life advocate who said he supports the less fortunate. He said he stands for a color-blind community that works together.

Bishop George McKinney said the district needs a strong leader who can make themselves heard through the political chatter at city hall.

"We look to the council member to be well informed and aggressive in speaking truth to the power structure and representing the voiceless in the fight for justice and righteousness," Rev. McKinney said.

The primary's top two candidates will compete in a runoff election in November.

The San Diego City Council District 4 race features an incumbent running for re-election against three challengers.

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