La Mesa Chamber of Commerce CEO Mary England, a Lemon Grove councilwoman and GOP candidate for state Assembly, has denied being evicted from her residence as alleged in reader comments on the 2010 foreclosure of her longtime family home.
A recent Patch article about a chamber event where Assemblyman Brian Jones called for support of England’s race for a seat in the new 79th Assembly District elicited an exchange of reader comments on the foreclosure and whether a candidate’s private financial troubles have any bearing on holding public office.
Teresa C. wrote:
Mary England remained in her foreclosed upon home until forcing the lender to file an eviction action to vacate the property in 2010 … In my opinion, she is not a suitable candidate for any office. Apparently, behind the façade is a person who lacks prudent financial management.
England, the La Mesa chamber’s president and CEO since 2008, denies she was evicted. She says that after struggling for two years with a loss of income and divorce from Dennis England, she could no longer afford to keep the home in which her family had lived for nearly five decades.
She says she exited the house under an agreement made with the new homeowner, leaving the home in move-in shape.
She calls the circumstances heartbreaking, telling Patch:
After the recession began in 2008, my husband and I saw our incomes steadily decline. My financial situation was worsened when, in 2009, we began the divorce process. In the end, I could simply not afford to keep the home and lost it to the lender. This was heartbreaking for me because this was the home in which I was raised and where my family had lived for 47 years.
Like many other Americans in this economy, I learned that it is possible to rebuild your life after losing one's home. This was a painful period in my life but one that have given me greater empathy for those who are struggling in this economy.
What I can tell you is the house was left in excellent condition for the new owner. I left on my own, adhering to an agreement I made with the new owner.”
Another reader, No Bad Government, commented:
You have no clue about Mary England and her personal life. If getting foreclosed out of a home is what you are basing your decision to elect a representative on people in office and not their record of representing their constituents, keeping taxes low and fighting against government waste, then you are obviously the type of person who voted in all the clowns we currently have in Sacramento who take bribes, support illegal aliens, waste your tax dollars and you deserve the mess we are in now.
How is that working out for you? There are plenty of people who lost their homes for one reason or another are it doesn't make them bad managers of money. You are very short sided [sic] and obviously have a personal bias against Mary England that has nothing to do with her personal business. Maybe she didn't raise your taxes enough.
The comment refers to England’s decisive vote against putting a sales tax increase on the ballot two years ago.
In the fourth quarter of 2010, San Diego County had 69,799 notices of default recorded on residential properties, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. In that same period, the actual loss of homes to the formal foreclosure process totaled 35,431.
She is one of two Republicans in the race, and will face four Democrats in the June open primary, where the top two vote-getters will vie in November.