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North County: Escondido, Encinitas Elex Results

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Aired 11/8/10

Local election results in San Diego's North County include a shift of power and a new Mayor in Escondido, a new mayor in Encinitas, a new board elected on a reform slate for troubled Mira Costa Community College and Bill Horn is returned to the County Board of Supervisors for the 5th time.

Local election results in San Diego's North County include a shift of power and a new Mayor in Escondido, a new mayor in Encinitas, a new board elected on a reform slate for troubled Mira Costa Community College and Bill Horn is returned to the County Board of Supervisors for the 5th time.

GUESTS: Logan Jenkins, UT North County columnist

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This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm Maureen Cavanaugh, You're listening to These Days on KPBS. And now it's time for our postelection North County update, Logan Jenkins is on the line, he's North County columnist for the San Diego Union Tribune, and Logan thank you for joining us.

LOGAN JENKINS: Welcome back to North County, Maureen.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Thank you so much of it's a pleasure to be there. Now, let's start with the general election trend. Did the GOP sweep affect the North County or was it already pretty Republican?

LOGAN JENKINS: Well, I think that that's always gonna be a factor in North County in a positive way for the GOP. But I think our two largest cities, are our two largest cities, Oceanside and Escondido, the Republican candidates did especially well.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Let's go to Escondido and talk about that, because Escondido is now a Latino majority city.

LOGAN JENKINS: Correct.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And we have three anti-illegal immigrant advocates that won spots, including the new mayor, Sam Abed. What do you think about that.

LOGAN JENKINS: Well, I think that it was always gonna be tricky, because it was a three candidate race. You had Dick Daniels who you might call our moderate Republican candidate. He was favored by the outgoing mayor. Then you have Tom D'Agosta, who was kind of an insurgent candidate from the left, if you will, and Sam Abed won with 38 percent of the vote.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now, I read that -- people were saying there was too many candidates and it split whatever liberal vote Escondido had. Do you think that's true?

LOGAN JENKINS: I think that is true. It's undeniable. Abed got especially tough at the end, he put out a mailer basically accusing Dick Daniels of being soft on immigration and I think that played to Sam Abed's base.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: What happened on the counsel election too? Because you have Maureen Waldron again who won?

LOGAN JENKINS: Won easily, but it's still undetermined who's gonna fill that second seat.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I see.

LOGAN JENKINS: Yeah, Lori Pfeiler is now in third place by 37 votes to Ed Gallo. Now, Ed Gallo was part of a majority that as you say was real tough on illegal immigration. He passed a very controversial landlord ordinance that they had to back away from later. So it's really too early to tell if Ed Gallo is gonna be the next councilman. He's ahead by. 09 percent, but as you know, there are these provisional ballots out there, a couple hundred thousand of them county wide, and so it's still up in the air.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So Ed Gallo, as you say right now, is ahead?

LOGAN JENKINS: He is about 37 --

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Over the former mayor. Is that a surprise?

LOGAN JENKINS: Well, I think what happened is that the Republican party, you know, got behind Gallo, Waldron, and abed, and so I think that that's something to say. And I think that Gallo kind of rode Abed's cocktails, to a degree.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: If I may, I'd like to move to Encinitas because the Encinitas mayor a race was interesting. Incumbent Dan Dalliger was popular, but he finished last. What happened?

LOGAN JENKINS: Of course they rotate their mayors in Encinitas. So it's more of a ceremonial thing. But still, he's the mayor. And he finished last. What happened is that he got involved with some ethical problems. He took some cut rates or he took some bargain basement deals from a kitchen appliance retailer. And that individual had business in front of the city, then he also took a hundred thousand dollar loan from an individual and failed to report it. And that person had business dealings that eventually ended up in front of the council. And so this was a storm against Dalliger, I think if you take that out of it, he probably would have won but interesting someone who was aligned with him, kind of philosophically, Kristen Gasbar, was the top vote getter. So there will still be a majority in Encinitas who probably, what you might call the probusiness side.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So Dan Dalliger is out because there were two council seats that needed to be filled. And how do they pick their mayor in Encinitas?

LOGAN JENKINS: They rotate it.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I see.

LOGAN JENKINS: And that's really true for several of our smaller cities in North County.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: So nobody actually votes for mayor, they vote for a seat on the council.

LOGAN JENKINS: Correct.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Now, perhaps to no one's surprise, Bill Horn won a 5th term on the county board of supervisors. But this time, he really did face a challenge. Tell us about that.

LOGAN JENKINS: Well, it was, you know, I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I think it was something like 54/47. I could be wrong on that. But that was about the spread. Steve Gronke ran a pretty good campaign. I think most people -- didn't have quite enough push at the end. Horn has the power of incumbency, which is kind of interesting because back in June, voters overwhelmingly said they approved term limits for supervisors. So what it appears is they like term limits in theory but not so much in fact.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm wondering, there's been a lot, we had Bill Horn and his challenger Steve Gronke here in a debate before the election. And there's been a lot of challenge to Bill Horn about ethical problems, this election cycle, and in previous election cycles. How does he keep bucking that, do you think?

LOGAN JENKINS: Well, I think because philosophically, politically, he's right for North County. He may have some warts on his political persona, he can be sort of larger than life in some of his pronouncements, but at the same time he's got his base. He knows how to turn it out, he has very good political advice from Tom shepherd. And so he runs a very effective, well funded campaign.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I want to take a empty to talk about the community college board of Mira Costa college. Usually community college boards don't get a lot of attention. But the winners were the Reform Mira Costa slate. What do they want to reform?

LOGAN JENKINS: Three years ago, there was a very controversial president at Mira Costa, her name was Victoria Rushard, and she eventually took -- she subscribes to the chaos theory of management. And boy, did she create a lot of chaos. There was a whole, you know, the faculty was united against her. So she took a settlement, a $1.6 million severance from the college. An individual, Leon Page, a Deputy District Attorney from Orange County, went on this crusade saying that that was a gift of public funds. He lost in a lower court, but an appellate court upheld his view of it, and so she is -- has now been ordered to give back 1.3 million of that severance.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Uh-huh.

LOGAN JENKINS: Well, this was a majority of board trustees who were backing Rushard, backing that particular settlement. They are all gone now.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Wow.

LOGAN JENKINS: They are all gone. And this last election was really a blood bath for these groups of three incumbents were swept out. One of them just basically, you know, decided not to pursue his campaign. But two incumbents were swept out by a group called reform Mira Costa. And they hand picked these candidates to come in and clean up the board from their appearing on behalf of.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: And they triumphed. Well, Logan, I'm sorry we had to have sort of a short version of a North County postelection update. But I want to thank you so much for joining us.

LOGAN JENKINS: It's my pleasure, Maureen.

MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Logan Jenkins, North County columnist for the San Diego Union Tribune. If you'd like to comment, please go on-line, KPBS.org/Thesedays. Stay with us for the second hour of These Days coming up in just a moment here on KPBS.

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