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KPBS Midday Edition

Kristin Gaspar Wins District 3 Seat On San Diego County Board Of Supervisors

Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar at the U.S. Grant, June 7, 2016.
Nancee Lewis
Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar at the U.S. Grant, June 7, 2016.
Kristin Gaspar Wins District 3 Seat On San Diego County Board Of Supervisors
Kristin Gaspar Wins District 3 Seat On San Diego County Board Of Supervisors GUEST: Kristin Gaspar, supervisor-elect, San Diego County third district

Final votes made the difference from newly elected County supervisor Kristin Gaspar this is KPBS Midday edition. Now that the final vote count has put her ahead, Kristin Gaspar will tell us how she prepares to take her place on the board and we will hear from analysts Carl Luna on sending those very close elections. Housing prices nationally are now at prerecession levels how does that translate into the San Diego market at San Diego zoo scientist try to discover what drones can do for a polar bear research and we will have a preview of this weekend's December nights. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh KPBS Midday edition is next first the news. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT ASSESSMENT? THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF COMPLEX THEORIES AND MOST PEOPLE HAVE ONE IN ANY CAMPAIGN YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE FULL RANGE OF EFFORTS THAT TAKE PLACE ALL ALONG I KNOW WHAT HAPPENS, NATIONAL SCALE SOMETIMES MOTIVATES voters to get out and there's a significant effort, Geo TV done in the final weeks which I think could be attributed to that as well but certainly any additional mail going out as part of the campaign is helpful especially in the final weeks the people have not returned ballots. What are some first things you want to do on the board? First and foremost I need to surround myself with a great team so this next couple of weeks it's important for me to decide on a wonderful chief of staff representing me and representing the district and Samuel Kathy Nash County that is -- San Diego County. It's critical. My attention from the congratulatory messages to filtering through resumes are received for the Chief of Staff position and after that it's important for me to get to know new colleagues better part of the campaign I had the opportunity to sit down with each one that was a valuable opportunity I took advantage of I need to do more of that and transitioning into the office will be an interesting couple of months. Mental health and mental health services was something you mentioned frequently on the campaign trail. The county has a large reserve fund and some say it should be spending more on services for mentally ill and homeless people. How can you improve services for mentally ill and homeless without tapping those reserve funds? It's not always about spending more for me is about efficiently deploying resources and we've had a changing problem with homelessness population in San Diego County and I tend to attribute some of the legislative changes to that A.B. 109, prompt 47 it took people prior in the prison system and put them back on the community streets and without tools they need to function successfully in each and every one of our communities. Is taking a critical look at how the resources are being deployed first before reinventing the wheel because what I've come to understand over the past year we have a lot of great service providers and they are throughout San Diego County. It's a matter of using the money wisely and if it does come down to the fact we need to dip into the reserves to be more effective than so be it but I will not take the knee-jerk reaction yet. Voters rejected development proposals like Caruso project and Lilac Hills, measure T, what have you learned from that and how was I going to affect your vote on the board? Ballot Box zoning is not good for anybody and these projects finding their way onto a ballot I can understand how they end up there is an overall frustration with the system that is broken. The role that I can play as an elected official is getting involved earlier on with active engagement in these projects because we are the voice for many people in the communities we serve so I think it is important we work with development community to produce better projects that can be supported by the electorate at large but it is always difficult if you have to make a decision on a 900 page item that is reduced to a single yes or no on a ballot. So Kristin Gaspar when you look at San Diego Board of Supervisors all brought publican, all white they do not -- represent them aggressive -- demographics of Senegal do think it is a problem? When becomes partisan role. It's nonpartisan office and should be treated that way and I can tell you something important to me as I entered the office is to keep partisan politics out of the seat because once we are elected we represent everybody so my approach will be a moderate approach key partisan products -- politics out of it if the board does that we should be fine next was again congratulations I have been speaking with newly elected County supervisor Kristin Gaspar Thank You so much.

Kristin Gaspar Wins District 3 Seat On San Diego County Board Of Supervisors
Republican Kristin Gaspar has unseated incumbent county Supervisor Dave Roberts, a Democrat. It is the first time in more than two decades that an incumbent supervisor has lost his or her seat.

Gaspar Roberts racer supervisor was not the only extremely close race in San Diego County. Congressman Darrell ISIL won over Doug Applegate by only 2300.-- votes less than one percentage point separates winners and losers in both races showing both successful candidates will have to deal with a deeply divided constituency join Amicus political analyst Carl Luna at Mesa College and welcome back. It keeps on giving. Certainly does. Count of absentee provisional ballots usually favored Democrats but not in the tran05-Roberts racer was overwhelmingly for Republican Kristin Gaspar why do you think that was? I'm not certain they could be that a lot of people decided to vote at the last, voted early on who would vote Republican and they were doing that Trump, Clinton votes posted in the mail there was a record number 500 year flood of ballots coming in and the early ballots usually do help Republicans depending on how they came out it may have been a perfect storm against the Democrats on this. And I also heard a lot of what was termed conservative voters actually wrote in a presidential candidate and that is a ballot that takes longer to count. That could be the case anything deviating from the norm takes longer to count the election that you have hundreds of thousands of ballots that have to be done. I could Michael, when you are done you put them in a closet and you choose but historically these things do not change the outcome of the election. On election night it's odd to have to go races assigned that San Diego while it should seek to the blue it has pulled back and purple-read range. Do you think the Gaspar-Robert race they were issues transcending party affiliation. The hit on David Roberts was the allegations of misconduct in his office, settlement the county had to make them then money close to $1 million three quarters of 1 million spent by Lincoln club, chamber of commerce to drive the message home it was a nasty race in the third District Roberts retaliating against Gaspar but he was outgunned not quite, about 2:1 if you look at the total money and that her particularly in an election where Democrats turned out -- he only got 30% of the primary which was telling he was in trouble the Democratic Party and the interest organization should have rallied to help them if they wanted to keep the seat it's been in trouble since June. San Diego County finds itself with a majority of Democratic voters and five-member Board of Supervisors solidly Republican. Can you give us background on how that came about? Demographics is not destiny. That is something people have to understand even though the numbers have been breaking at the city level and increasingly in the county toward Democrats, independents who tend to break more Democrat than Republican it's not who is registered or the demographics, it's who shows up election day. And Republicans have been more effective at getting back their ground game, advertisements out and get voters out the Democrats offsetting the disadvantage in the shifting demographics and that district Democrats only have a few thousand more registration but I have a lot of independence and they were not able to whip up a lot of popular support for Dave Roberts to deliver the election next have most of the county Board of Supervisors members of the board been on the board for longer than the Democratic ticket, demographics have changed in the county? Numbers are there for the founding of the mission of San Diego. [Laughter] the county Board of Supervisors is one of those bodies and nobody really knows much about they think of State Board of equalization even though the board supervisors a budget which bigger than San Diego. The have over five -- $5 billion , Sheriff, land development it may have to keep a low profile precisely because they avoid the political controversies but they may not be as representative of the needs of the communities as groups thought Dave Roberts could be. When you see areas of friction between the board's ideology and County voters now? Depends on how things shape up or land land transportation, law and order, everybody likes the sheriffs that will work out in terms of trash, you have to find a place to put trash dumps. Services given by the county and state budget land of element will be a major friction point because there's so much land in San Diego, only certain number of people you need to develop more to bring clocked out or increased density in the county will be under increasing pressure to come up with new land-use to match the realities. Two supervisors will be turned out in 2018 and the other two 2020 so this run since the mission started in San Diego is going to end. Do you expect to see the political makeup of the board change in four years? Predictions are based on demographics voter registration Bentleys two seats went over to the Democrats and now eventually that the Democrats can get back Dave Roberts is the weather have an advantage per se and while supervisor elect Gaspar is correct, these are technically nonpartisan seat and they will be partisan because they are very different views between Republicans, Democrats how you govern and spend money and how you hire labor and land development so within the districts they should break Democrat but they like to play loosely pulling the ball away. Based on Dave Roberts, inmate be 2020 before they took another seat act 49th Congressional District, Doug Applegate gave Congressman Darrell Isa a run for his money. This is the closest race. Did the local Democratic party miss an opportunity by not backing a more seasoned candidate? Probably if you have thrown a lot more money, actually with dog Applegate he was a good candidate look how well he did. Yes. You need to brand him and bring him out and introducing to the Democratic voters and get the vote out. He was adorable candidate he could have won pickle they have on the bench is a problem for County Democrats. I was thinking after the election Dave Roberts wins the second board term of supervisors natural to take on the arrow -- Darrell Issa and that will not happen now. And Democratic bench seems to be light at everybody in Senegal does well in the Democratic Party goes to Sacramento in the same seat. Avoiding a district spans both San Diego and Orange County San Diego boats for the only ones counted, Darrell Issa would have lost what does that tell you? Particularly northern San Diego County is becoming increasingly blue demographics are changing and that should impact supervisor razors and may impact the Darrell Issa seat in the next cycles Darrell Issa may decide to pack it in and retire we will have to see. But there is a shift over time which will probably benefit been a grant -- Democrats in San Diego that can figure out how to do it capitalize and there's a viable force. Speaking with analysts Carl Luna political science professor at Mesa College.

The race for the District 3 seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors was finally over Monday. Republican Kristin Gaspar has unseated incumbent Supervisor Dave Roberts, a Democrat.

Gaspar’s campaign manager, Jason Roe, said Roberts called Gaspar to concede at around 10 a.m. Monday.

Roberts finished election night more than 2,000 votes ahead.

But as the vote count of mail-in and provisional ballots continued, Gaspar gradually gained ground and overtook Roberts. As of Monday, with more than 226,000 votes counted, Gaspar has 50.27 percent of the vote and is 1,242 votes ahead.

“I ran on a platform of fiscal accountability, support for public safety, and addressing our inadequate mental health programs and exploding homeless crisis,” Gaspar said in a statement. “There will be a lot of change at the county in the next four years and I’m looking forward to getting to work on those issues and make a difference for our taxpayers.”

It is the first time in more than three decades that an incumbent San Diego County supervisor has lost his or her seat. With Gaspar’s win, the board returns to being all Republican.

In a statement, Roberts thanked his supporters:

“It appears that Kristin Gaspar has won the election by half a percent (.54%) with the majority of ballots now tabulated in our district. I called Kristin to congratulate her and offer my sincere help in transitioning the office to her between now and early January when she takes office. I am so proud and grateful to have been given the honor of serving as your County Supervisor. I am looking forward to continuing to work to fulfill our vision for a prosperous San Diego County that protects our quality of life today and for future generations.”

Roberts, the only Democrat on the board, was elected in 2012 when Pam Slater-Price stepped down. Several members of Robert’s office staff resigned during his first term, and accused him of misuse of public funds. The District Attorney did not press charges, and the county paid $310,000 to settle the case.

A campaign of mailers and TV ads leading up to the election accused Roberts of betraying the public trust.

Funded by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Lincoln Club and the construction industry, the negative campaign leading up to the election is credited with giving Gaspar the later votes she needed to win the race in the post election count.

Roberts is spending this week in Palm Springs at the California Association of Counties where he is first vice chair. He had expected to be sworn in as chair this week, but will now step down.

Gaspar, a relative political newcomer, was elected to the Encinitas City Council in 2010 and became the city’s first elected mayor in 2014. She gave up her chance for a second term as mayor to run for the county board, and in June defeated the more well established Republican, Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, to win the right to face off with Roberts in November.

She will be sworn in as supervisor in January.

This graph shows how long San Diego County supervisors have held office.
Jorge Contreras
This graph shows how long San Diego County supervisors have held office.

Under term limits approved by voters in 2010, all the existing members of the board will be termed out by 2020, except Gaspar. Supervisors can now serve a maximum of two four-year terms. Changing demographics mean voter registration in Districts 1 and 4 are majority Democratic, so the board’s Republican make-up is expected to change.

District 3 covers the coast from Del Mar to Encinitas; stretches east along state Route 52, including Carmel Valley; and includes Interstate 15 from Tierrasanta to Escondido.