Councilwoman Campbell argues that Council President selection “should be done behind the scenes” (that’s illegal)

Written by Madeleine

San Diego City Council President Dr. Jennifer Campbell went on air this week with KPBS’s Andrew Bowen to discuss her views on the controversial selection of the new Council President last year. Campbell was in competition for the position with Monica Montgomery Steppe, who represents District 4.

Campbell made a number of controversial comments, which Bowen outlined in a Twitter thread on March 1st. For one, Campbell said that the selection of council president, “should be done behind the scenes” and “has nothing to do with the public.”

Campbell argues that because the role is administrative, there is no reason for the public to be involved.

Bowen points out that a selection done privately would be illegal, and upsetting many activists and advocates.

During the time of the upcoming choice for Council President, Councilwoman Monica Montgomery Steppe’s supporters made a very public case of endorsement. The public who chose to support her felt that this was a positive change, so the selection was more about what they want rather than what political staffers, lobbyists and interest groups want.

In the interview Campbell referred to Montgomery Steppe’s campaign as a “circus.” She voluntarily shared that not marketing herself was purposeful so she could “take the high road.”

Montgomery Steppe responded to Bowen’s tweet that highlighted Campbell’s poor word choice saying, “Who wants to be my anger translator?”


Campbell is already facing a recall for betraying the voters in her district. Her attitude towards the selection process will only continue to fuel the public’s effort to remove her from office.

Photo via Andrew Bowen on Youtube