How Will Blue Wave Impact North County Elections?
Elections in San Diego’s North County will determine — among other things — the political majority of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, the leadership of several cities and what growth and development will look like in Oceanside and Poway.
One of the big questions going into the election season was whether Democrat Rep. Mike Levin was going to be able to hold on to the 49th District Congressional seat, which represents voters in both San Diego and Orange Counties. Levin won the seat in 2018 as part of an increase in registered Democrats in North County, the so-called blue wave.
Levin is being challenged by Bryan Maryott, a Republican who currently works as a certified financial planner. This was expected to be a tight race but a recent San Diego Union-Tribune/10News poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, shows Levin leading by 20 points.
The blue wave appears to be continuing in North County. According to data from the Registrar of Voters, as of Sept. 30 there are more registered Democrats than Republicans in Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Marcos and Escondido, Vista, Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar heading into next week's election. Poway has more registered Republicans than Democrats.
The most significant race to watch in North County is the San Diego County Board of Supervisors District 3 race between incumbent Republican Kristin Gaspar, and Democrat Terra Lawson-Remer, who gained notoriety for leading the campaign to successfully "Flip the 49th" Congressional District from Republican to Democrat.
If Lawson-Remer were to win the race, it would shift the balance of power on the board of supervisors from Republican to Democrat. Lawson-Remer has voter registration on her side with more registered Democrats in the district than Republicans.
According to a new poll by Voice of San Diego, Lawson-Remer leads Gaspar among likely voters by 11 points, 42% to 31%, with 27% of respondents in the district undecided.
There are several mayors’ races taking place in North County. There are 12 candidates vying to lead Oceanside, its current mayor, Republican Peter Weiss, is running for a seat on the city council in a more politically conservative district. The two open city council seats in Oceanside could however be more important because they could shift the balance of power to a majority Democrat council depending on who wins.
In Encinitas, incumbent Democrat Catherine Blakespear is running for a second term. Blakespear is dealing with community dissatisfaction over the issues of growth and development in Encinitas from people who want to keep the small seaside village feel in Encinitas. She is being challenged by Julie Thunder, a former Republican now registered Independent who is running on a campaign promoting slower growth and less development.
Growth and development is a key issue in most North County elections. There are two measures to approve or reject major new housing developments, Oceanside’s North River Farms and The Farm in Poway. Both of these developments have been approved by their respective city councils but there is vehement opposition to the developments from the community.
KPBS’s North County specialist Alison St. John discussed the top North County issues and races Tuesday on Midday Edition