Left, Steve Vaus, right, and Joel Anderson

Fewer than a thousand votes separate Poway Mayor Steve Vaus from his opponent, fellow Republican and former state lawmaker Joel Anderson Thursday as the two vie for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors District 2 seat.

Vaus’ lead has shrunk to 914 votes with a 50.19% lead to Anderson’s 49.81%. More than 300,000 votes are left to be counted in the county, Registrar of Voters Michael Vu estimates, so this race could easily break for either candidate.

District 2’s termed-out Dianne Jacob, also a Republican, joined the Board of Supervisors in 1993. The district is home to the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Poway and Santee; and the San Diego communities of Allied Gardens, College Area, Del Cerro, Grantville, Navajo, Rolando and San Carlos.

It also covers East County’s unincorporated communities of Alpine, Campo, Julian, Ramona, Rancho San Diego and Spring Valley. Anderson represented the East County in the Assembly from 2007 to 2009, and in the state Senate from 2010 to 2018.

A Grammy-winning recording artist, Vaus first served on the Poway City Council before winning the 2014 mayoral race. His leadership during the deadly 2019 shooting at a Poway synagogue received national attention.

In the District 3 race, challenger Terra Lawson-Remer — a Democrat who served as a senior adviser in the Obama administration — defeated incumbent Kristin Gaspar, a Republican elected in 2016.

“Thank you so much to everyone who has worked so hard [to] bring new leadership to our county,” she wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Lawson-Remer currently leads in the race by around 47,000 votes — 59.05% of the vote to Gaspar’s 40.95%

The coastal/North County district includes a dozen neighborhoods within the city of San Diego, including Carmel Mountain Ranch, Mira Mesa and Rancho Penasquitos. It also includes the cities of Del Mar, Encinitas, Escondido and Solana Beach.

A former Encinitas mayor and City Council member, Gaspar is also a small business owner.

Lawson-Remer has never held public office, but was endorsed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Rep. Scott Peters and county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

Gaspar has not publicly conceded.

Nora Vargas claimed victory Wednesday in her bid to replace Greg Cox as San Diego County Supervisor for District 1, with a 55.17% to 44.83% lead over her opponent, state Sen. Ben Hueso.

Vargas leads Hueso by nearly 19,000 votes and her lead has grown from election night. The results aren’t official, but Cox reached out to congratulate Vargas, a health executive.

“This morning I called @NoraVargasSD to congratulate her on a hard earned victory,” Cox wrote on Twitter. “She’s going to make a great Supervisor! We have already scheduled a meeting to begin working on a smooth transition so that we can continue serving the people of District 1.”

Both Vargas and Hueso are Democrats. Hueso, a former San Diego City Council member, has represented Senate District 40 since 2013.

Vargas is a vice president of Planned Parenthood of the Southwest and also serves on the Southwest Community College board.

“I’m honored to be able to serve the people of District 1 and engage our communities, so together we can truly build healthier and stronger communities,” Vargas replied on the social media app.

Cox has termed out, meaning the board will have at least two new members.

Cox, a Republican, has been in office since 1995, representing the district that includes National City, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and Coronado, along with 19 communities within the city of San Diego, including Barrio Logan and Sunset Cliffs. It also features the unincorporated communities of Bonita, East Otay Mesa, Lincoln Acres and Sunnyside.

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.