San Bernardino City Councilwoman Virginia Marquez recently announced she will not seek re-election. She was elected to the Ward 1 seat in 2009. (The Sun file photo)

By Brian Whitehead | bwhitehead@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
Published: March 16, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Updated: March 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

Virginia Marquez is calling it a career. Again.

Ten years after retiring from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the 61-year-old recently announced she will not seek re-election to the San Bernardino City Council.

Marquez, a native of the city, has served as Ward 1 councilwoman since 2010.

“I’ve helped put Ward 1 on a whole new level,” she said by phone Friday, March 16. “Since I am retired, I’ve been able to spend time with constituents, case workers, attend meetings, workshops. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve devoted my time to the city to make sure we move forward post-bankruptcy.”

Marquez, a former corrections officer, said she’s seen her home town “go through the good, the bad and the ugly.”

She explains: “The good, the charter reform and so many positive things. The ugly, when Officer (Gabe) Garcia was shot in the head and survived; a walking miracle. Officer Bryce Hanes. December 2. And the bad, going through the bankruptcy and carrying that label as a municipality.”

Formerly a retiree on Coronado Island, Marquez returned to the area to serve as a field rep for former Rep. Joe Baca, an Inland Democrat. She ran for public office in 2009 and won the Ward 1 seat by 33 votes. She was re-elected in 2013.

Marquez called her mother’s death last year “the turning point in my life.” She decided shortly thereafter to step away from the dais, calling her eight years as a councilwoman “an unforgettable experience I will never forget.”

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