Roberts has been beset by claims that he misused county office funds and mistreated his staff. He has denied the allegations.
Abed last month called on Roberts to resign.
“The trust of county residents and the broken relationships with the county Board of Supervisors and staff will never be restored under Supervisor Dave Roberts,” Abed told reporters. “I provide that trust. I will restore that trust.”
If he unseats Roberts, he could restore Republican unanimity on the Board of Supervisors, depending on how other races play out.
The native of Lebanon was elected mayor in 2010 and reelected four years later. He previously served six years on the Escondido City Council. At the news conference, he touted his work to shore up the city of Escondido’s budget and his business-friendly policies.
A spokesman for Roberts, Gary Gartner, said Abed had promised Escondido residents that he would serve two full terms.
“During Mr. Abed’s tenure as mayor of Escondido, he has brought a polarizing atmosphere to City Hall” through his statements and actions, Gartner said.
Abed has also failed to develop a large plot of vacant land on the west side of town, which he had touted as a possible location for a Chargers stadium, a home for a minor league baseball team or a business park, according to Gartner.
Roberts is a freshman supervisor representing a district that includes Del Mar, Solana Beach and Encinitas, and extends inland to cover the city of San Diego’s northern neighborhoods and Escondido.
Eight people have resigned from Roberts’ office since he took office in January 2013. Ex-scheduler Diane Porter recently filed a claim against the county that contends the supervisor made her work on political activities during work hours and spend office money on campaign materials, and created a hostile work environment, particularly for women.
—City News Service