State and Federal Candidate Profiles for March 3 Primary

The Calexico Chronicle is pleased to present profiles of the candidates seeking state and federal offices that represent Imperial County in the March 3 primary.

Because many voters now vote early by mail we scheduled the candidate profiles to run several weeks before the election so early voters can learn more about the candidates before casting their ballots.

This week’s profiles are for U.S. House District 51 and state Assembly District 56.

America Figueroa

State and Federal Candidate Profiles for March 3 Primary
America Figueroa

Elected position sought: California Assembly 56st District

Name: America Figueroa

Age: 45

City of residence: Indio

Family: Married, 5 children ages 24, 21, 14, 11, 9.

Current employment: I’m a Child Development Teacher. I am currently not teaching at the school district because I homeschool my 3 youngest children.

Political experience: I am not a politician, I am a mother and a teacher, but have been an advocate for children and families for several years in my community and throughout the State of California.

Employment history (last 10 years):

La Prensa Hispana Bilingual Newspaper, Column Writer |Indio, CA. – 2018 to date; Radio Remanente 98.9 FM, Radio Host for Women’s show “Hablando de Mujer a Mujer”|La Quinta, CA. – 2018; Desert Sands Unified School District, Head Start & State Preschool Substitute| La Quinta, CA. – 2014 to 2017; IDD Fraternidad Cristiana, Children’s Ministry Director |Indio, CA. – 2014-2018; First School of the Desert Preschool, Lead Pre-K Teacher | La Quinta, CA. – 2014; Little Monsters Little Angels Preschool, Lead Pre-K Teacher | Palm Desert, CA. – 2013 to 2014; Southwest Community Church, Administrative Assistant |Indian Wells, CA. 2012-2013; Southwest Community Church, Early Childhood Service Coordinator |Indian Wells, CA. 2007- 2009

Other affiliations/memberships/board positions:

Alliance To Protect Children, Executive Director | 2019-Present; Informed Parents of California, Hispanic Spokesperson|2018-2019; El Cafecito de América Figueroa Blog & Vlog, Host/Writer |Facebook, YouTube – 2016-Present; Radio Inspiración, Education & Legislation Commentator |2019-Present

Education: Child Development Teacher Permit |CA Commission on Teaching Credentialing  |Valid 2016 through 2021; Associate of Biblical Studies |International College of Bible Theology |Lancaster, CA. 2015; Early Childhood Education |College of the Desert |Palm Desert, CA. 2014; Early Care Education and Development (NAP SACC) |University of California, Riverside Extension 2013; Universidad Autónoma de Baja California | Translation Technician English/Spanish|Mexicali, México 1993-1995

Reasons for running and top issues: I’m a Mexican immigrant, born and raised in Mexicali, B.C. México. I come from a family of schoolteachers. I’ve served my community for several years, as a teacher, a mentor, supporting women victims of domestic violence and families in need. I’ve been an advocate for children and families, as a radio host for different Christian stations, a column writer, a children’s pastor and women’s leader. Over the last year and a half, I’ve been educating parents about AB 329 and the harmful effects of Comprehensive SeXXXuality Education.

I am not a career politician, I am a mother of 5, a woman of faith, and an educator, and I’m taking a leap of faith because our young generations deserve better than what we are leaving behind for them. California legislators continue to propose laws limiting our options as parents and this is harmful to children, families, and people of faith.

4 Top Issues:

  1. Restoring Local Control for Education: We must restore local control and return all spending and curriculum decisions to each local school board. School board members are elected by the community and they do know better what’s best for the population they serve.
  2. Restoring and Respecting Parental Rights: It is time Sacramento politicians are reminded of that and stop their constant overreach and attack to family values and start protecting and defending the innocence of our children.
  3. Supporting Taxpayers and Businesses: California’s taxes and regulations are the reason we’re losing so many jobs in the State. Electricians, gardeners, pool men, contractors, childcare providers and many more small businesses are going out of business by a system of extreme taxation.
  4. Promoting Environmental Health: Here in the 56th district the population surrounding the Salton Sea has been suffering for a long time due to air and water pollution from the Alamo River and the New River.

Eduardo Garcia 

State and Federal Candidate Profiles for March 3 Primary
Eduardo Garcia

Elected position sought: California Assembly 56st District (Incumbent)

Name: Eduardo Garcia 

Age: 43

City of residence: Coachella 

Family: Proud husband and father 

Current employment: California State Assemblymember, District 56

Political experience: Councilmember, City of Coachella (2004-05); Mayor, City of Coachella (2006-14); California State Assemblymember, District 56 (2015-Current)

Employment history (last 10 years): Policy aide with the Offices of Assemblymember Manuel Perez, Congressman Juan Vargas, and Senator Ben Hueso

Other affiliations/memberships/board positions: Ex-officio Member, California Air Resources Board 

Education: Graduated with a degree in Political Science and minor in Native American Studies, University of California, Riverside; Master’s from the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning, and Development; Senior Executives in State and Local Government Public Administration Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Reasons for running and top issues: As your Assembly member, I have been fighting hard for the families of the Imperial Valley and worked tirelessly to listen to your concerns and serve as your advocate in the Assembly.

The Imperial Valley Press stated: “Higher Education now more accessible to underserved community thanks to Garcia bill.”

With your support, I will keep fighting in the State Assembly for good paying jobs, access to health care, improving local schools and educational opportunities, making neighborhoods safe, and building a better future for the families and residents of Imperial County.

In the Assembly, I’ve brought fiscally responsible leadership. We’ve balanced the state budget each year, strengthened California’s finances, and saved taxpayers billions of dollars in budget reserves.

Governor Newsom and Governor Brown have signed dozens of my bills into law – expanding workforce training, small business loan programs and job creation; making college more affordable and accessible; improving air and water quality in our region; advancing the restoration of the Salton Sea; and ensuring that our communities receive their fair share of state funding for the environment, education, and health care.

We have made great progress, but there’s more work to be done. With your support, I can continue fighting in the State Assembly to address the issues that matter most to Imperial Valley families, children, and seniors.

Please join teachers, nurses, police and firefighters, business and labor, and the Democratic Party in supporting my re-election. Please visit:

Sergeant Major Juan M. Hidalgo, Jr USMC (Retired)

State and Federal Candidate Profiles for March 3 Primary
Sergeant Major Juan M. Hidalgo, Jr USMC (Retired)

Elected position sought: U.S. House of Representatives, Calif. 51st District

Name: Sergeant Major Juan M. Hidalgo, Jr USMC (Retired)

Age: 53

City of residence: San Diego

Family (optional): Wife-Francisca, Son-Juan 3rd, Son-Gabriel, Daughter-Alyssa.

Current employment: Retired

Political experience: No political office held.

Employment history (last 10 years):

1984-2015 United States Marine Corps.

2015-present Retired.

Other affiliations/memberships/board positions:

The 2016/2018 Republican Party Candidate for the 51st Congressional District;

San Diego Republican Party; Imperial Valley Republican Party;

Marine Corps Association; West Coast Drill Instructor Association;

Marine Corps Tanker Association; Latino American Political Association;

Veterans of Foreign Wars; Fleet Reserve Association; American Legion;

Marine Corps League

Board positions:

Current-Church board Member; Past-Church building committee;

Past-High Desert SDA School board chairman

Education: (BS) Park University, Summa cum laude GPA 4.0; Keystone Executive Leader Course, National Defense University; (AA) Central Texas College Killeen, Texas

Reasons for running and top issues: Juan M. Hidalgo Jr. was born in San Diego and raised in National City. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served with distinction in both war and peace for over 31 years. In his last assignment he served as the Sergeant Major for the Joint Task Force of Guantanamo Bay (GTMO), Cuba. Along with his military experience he obtained two college degrees and completed the National Defense University Executive Leadership Course.

His sincere commitment of continued service to our Country has led him to seek to be your Congressman. As a devout family man and committed Christian, he now desires to apply his leadership skills to the challenges facing the families, individuals, and businesses of the 51st District. 

It’s time to have real representation in DC. It’s time that we put aside political parties and vote our values. It’s time to support the man and not the party. It’s time to vote someone in Congress that will work for you! When Hidalgo goes to Congress, we all go.

His military career and education have more than adequately provided him the skills required to work for you. Tired of the unacceptable 11% unemployment rate in the District?  He will bring JOBS for everyone who is willing to work. Equally fed up with the fact that only 68% of our children are graduating high school. He will work to ensure your children and grandchildren have a quality EDUCATION. Given many local unsafe living conditions he will work tirelessly to improve PUBLIC SAFETY.

He has adopted the motto, “Always Faithful,” to express his steadfast and proven commitment to all the constituents of California’s 51st Congressional District. He sincerely asks for your vote during the upcoming 2020 elections and promises to be your faithful representative.

Juan Vargas

State and Federal Candidate Profiles for March 3 Primary
Juan Vargas

Elected position sought: U.S. House of Representatives, Calif. 51st District


Name: Juan Vargas

Age: 58

City of residence: San Diego

Family: My spouse, Adrienne Vargas, and I have two children, Rosa (23) and Helena (16).  

Current employment: Member of Congress

Political experience: I have been elected to the San Diego City Council (1993-2000), the California State Assembly (2000-2006), the California State Senate (2010-2012), and I have been your United States Congressmember since 2013.

Employment history (last 10 years):  California State Senate (2010-2012); United States Congress (2013-current)

Other affiliations/memberships/board positions: Congressional Hispanic Caucus

Education: University of San Diego (BA); Fordham University (MA);  Harvard Law School (JD).

Reasons for running: I am running to continue to fight for our communities and our future.  I am proud of the work I have accomplished as your Congress member. This includes writing laws that protect children from sex traffickers, leading the fight to reverse education budget cuts, restoring school funding, and protecting seniors by opposing Social Security and Medicare cuts. My three main priorities in the near future:

1) Protecting Veterans: our veterans deserve excellent health care, housing, counseling, respect and job training, and I will continue to honor and fight for those that fought for us.  

2) Jobs/Rebuilding Our Economy: I understand the Valley’s high unemployment rate. I wrote the Neighborhood Business Protection Act to help small businesses create jobs and training programs in our communities. Moreover, I know the importance of renewable energy and will ensure that this resource brings permanent jobs to the Imperial Valley. 3) Fixing Our Land Ports of Entry: I secured millions of dollars to rebuild the Calexico Border Crossing, and I will continue to work hard to reduce wait times and reduce pollution throughout the Imperial Valley.

This story is featured in the Feb 06, 2020 e-Edition.

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