Fresh Faces Running for Office

Written by: ANNE M. HAULE

Record numbers of women across the country are stepping up and running for office this year. We’re thrilled to see so many fresh faces running locally in San Diego County. Run Women Run reached out to first time candidates in races affected by the June primary to learn a bit more them and how they imagine advancing our mission when elected. This article features Michelle Gomez, Candidate for San Diego County Board of Supervisors, District 5, Dr. Jen Campbell, Candidate for San Diego City Council, District 2, and Vivian Moreno for Candidate for San Diego City Council, District 8.

Learn what they had to say, and stay tuned for more featured candidates to come. Below are their responses.

Michelle Gomez, Candidate
San Diego County Board of Supervisors, District 5

1) When you win, what will you do to advance women’s issues in San Diego?
“Once elected I will advocate for and fight to ensure we use available funds to test all sexual assault evidence kits and investigate and prosecute violent crimes against women. I will also fight to build awareness and to eradicate elder abuse against women. Additionally, I would like to create programs that encourage young women to enter the field of cybersecurity and data privacy. This is an up and coming field that currently has very few women. Finally, achieving equal pay for equal work is very high on my list.”

2) Who is a role model for you and what will you do to emulate her?
“My mother and my maternal grandmother are my biggest role models. I have championed women’s rights for most of my life, including long before I reached adulthood, and will continue to fight for women’s rights and equality until it is achieved. I inherited this iron will from the long line of strong and resilient women in my family. I have dedicated my campaign to my grandmother who fought tirelessly to help women receive proper medical treatment rather than resorting to back alley abortions. My mother has been fighting for equal pay for equal work for more than 40 years, and it saddens me that we are still fighting this battle. What’s truly devastating to me is that we have ceased to move forward as a nation with regard to women’s rights. The current administration in the White House is making a mockery of all of the protections the women in my family have fought for all these years. I will continue to fight to ensure that California remains a place where women are valued members of society and to increase and protect those rights which we already have. I will ensure that the Golden State never bows down to some frightening “new normalcy” which devalues people because of their gender or other protected status. And I will fight for equality, including equal pay for equal work and the rights of women to make their own choices regarding procreation.”

3) What have you done in your life that shows courage and what do you envision might cause you to exercise courage once elected?
“Running for political office is by far the most courageous thing I have done in my life. Each day is filled with potential, promise and power. It is exhilarating and exhausting. I work full time and campaign full time with little time left to eat and sleep. My motivation, the voice inside my head tells me to fight hard, to fight on and to make a difference in my community. The voice inside my head reminds me everyday that a grassroots movement will knock down barriers and create opportunity. Once elected, I will strive to stare adversity in the eye, running towards problems, rather than away from them.”

You can learn more about Michelle and her campaign by visiting her website at


Dr. Jen Campbell, Candidate
San Diego City Council, District 2

1) When you win, what will you do to advance women’s issues in San Diego?
“I will always fight for equal opportunity for all people, especially women, without regard to race, religion, sexual preference, or background. Women should be free to pursue their dreams and fulfill their destinies and n whatever ways I, as a City Council member can do to help, I will whether it is by example or by Legislation.”

2) Who is a role model for you and what will you do to emulate her?
“My role model for City Council is Donna Frye as she was always honest, ethical, and straight forward. She had the interests of the citizens of San Diego as most important at all times and never her own aggrandizement.”

3) What have you done in your life that shows courage and what do you envision might cause you to exercise courage once elected?
“I have always tried to behave in concert with my character, which often takes courage. As a teenager, I participated in the Civil Rights Movement and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King. As a pre-med student, I refused to sabotage other students’ laboratory work in order to make myself appear better than them and I refused to take drugs such as amphetamines to enhance my ability to stay awake to cram for exams. I felt that I must win acceptance to medical school because of my own talent and not with cheating. I chose to follow my dream of becoming a physician in the early 1970’s despite the derision I ignored because I wanted to be in a “man’s career”. I chose to take my two children and leave my verbally and physically abusive husband to become a single mother even though I was a medical student at the time and had almost no economic resources. I could not have my daughters growing up seeing this abuse nor could I stand for it being done to me. In office, I will always act in the best interests of the people I represent.”

You can learn more about Dr. Jen Campbell and her campaign by visiting her website at


Vivian Moreno, Candidate
San Diego City Council, District 8

1) When you win, what will you do to advance women’s issues in San Diego? 
“I will be the first woman ever elected to Council District 8 since Lucy Killea in 1979 when the district boundaries were very different. This gives me a special obligation to give other young women opportunities to succeed in politics. As part of Mana de San Diego’s Hermanitas Program, I’ve mentored young Latinas for the last ten years. When I win, I will continue doing this.  I will offer internships in my office to any young woman who is interested in politics in District 8, and I will encourage other women to run for public office.”

2) Who is a role model for you and what will you do to emulate her?
“My biggest role model is my mother. Ever since I can remember my mom has worked tirelessly to provide for our family. I’m proud to say that after 41 years of hard work at Jack in the Box my mom has finally retired. My mother taught me to always fight for what is right, to work hard and never back down until your task has been accomplished. Because of her example, I am the hardest working candidate in District 8, and when I win I will be the hardest working Councilmember on the City Council.”

3) What have you done in your life that shows courage and what do you envision might cause you to exercise courage once elected?
“Over a year ago, three women from the South Bay who worked for a powerful local union leader accused him of sexual harassment, abuse of power, and retaliation. Like many powerful men accused of abuse, he denied any wrongdoing and threatened retaliation against anyone who supported and believed these women. I was warned that if I stood with these women, this union leader would endorse one of my opponents and spend at least one hundred thousand dollars in a negative campaign against me. But I was so impressed by the courage of these women, that I could not remain on the sidelines. Over a year ago, I signed on to a letter with other local democrats, demanding that this leader step down while the charges against him were investigated and cease any attempt to retaliate against his accusers. My opponents in District 8 didn’t sign this letter. One of them even sought this union leader’s endorsement and support. I don’t think it is an accident that the only candidate for Council District 8 to stand with and believe the women is also the only woman running. This demonstrates how important the work of Run Women Run is today. In order for the #MeToo movement to succeed, we must elect more women who have the courage to believe and support other women.”

You can learn more about Vivian and her campaign by visiting her website at


If you are a woman who is first time candidate and are interested in being featured, please contact




ANNE M. HAULE – Anne is a writer, activist and adventurer who moved to San Diego 8 years ago to be near her daughter after retiring from her law practice in Chicago. Anne is the Volunteer Attorney Coordinator for the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties. She also lobbies for for NARAL and the ACLU.

Her writing is published in the San Diego Free Press, the Women’s Museum of California, The Reader, and the Uptown News. She also authors a blog called “Musings of a Boomer Feminist” which can be found at When she’s not engaged in her writing or activism, she enjoys traveling for adventure and for culture. Anne’s recent travels included trips to the Copper Canyon in Mexico, the Channel Islands, Italy and a home exchange in Sweden. Anne is the proud mother of Kath Rogers, who is also an activist lawyer, and the proud grandmother of Annie, an Australian Shepherd rescue dog.

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