The County Board of Supervisors is prepared to make a major shift as one incumbent faces defeat and two longtime members leave due to term limits.
Kristin Gaspar, who received national attention by supporting President Donald Trump, has a large gap to close if she is to fend off challenger Terra Lawson-Remer. If she can’t, the balance of power on the board, long dominated by Republicans, will shift to Democrats.
State Sen. Ben Hueso, who is termed out of his current office, was a late entrant in the race to succeed long-time Supervisor Greg Cox in South County, but he led in the March primary. However, the former member of the state Assembly and the San Diego City Council trailed Southwestern Community College board member Nora Vargas, who works as Vice President of Planned Parenthood of the Southwest. Both candidates are Democrats, but Vargas secured the local Democratic Party endorsement.
Vargas had 55.0% of the vote, while Hueso garnered 45.0%
Two Republicans vied to succeed a board mainstay, Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who will leave after 28 years of representing an area that includes much of East County south of Route 78.
Former state Sen. Joel Anderson, seeking a political comeback after losing a Board of Equalization race in 2018, trailed his opponent, Steve Vaus, Poway’s mayor, by about one point – 50.3% to 49.7% – as Anderson gained as more returns came in. The difference fell from less than 3,800 votes to 1,245 votes.
Vaus, who gained exposure as attention focused on his city following the fatal 2019 synagogue shooting, has Jacob’s endorsement. He also secured the support of two prominent Republicans, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Sheriff Bill Gore. Anderson received the endorsement of the San Diego County Republican Party.
Gaspar, who is seeking a second term, aligned herself with with President Trump in support of his hardline immigration polices. The former mayor of Encinitas, who runs a physical therapy business with her husband, trails though as challenger Lawson-Remer, a Yale-educated attorney, economist and UC San Diego professor, rode out to a large lead Tuesday – 59.5% to almost 40.5%.
Lawson-Remer is endorsed by several prominent Democrats, including Gov. Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.
– Staff reports
Updated 6:26 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020