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Politics

Another Gaspar Steps Into The Encinitas Political Ring

Cars cruise beneath the Encinitas sign on South Coast Highway, 2013
Katie Schoolov
Cars cruise beneath the Encinitas sign on South Coast Highway, 2013

Paul Gaspar, the husband of Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar, declared he will run for the job in November. Kristin Gaspar cannot run for a second term since she is challenging San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts for his seat.

Paul Gaspar will not be able to step right into his wife’s shoes without a fight. Encinitas Councilwoman Catherine Blakespear has already declared her intention to run for the mayor’s spot.

Paul Gaspar, a Republican, cites a "leadership space left behind by his wife" as a reason for running. He has launched a growing physical therapy business with his wife, whose pro-business credentials have earned her the support of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Blakespear, a Democrat, is an attorney specializing in trusts and estate planning. She describes herself as "pro environment and smart growth.”

The coastal city of Encinitas has a population of about 60,000 living in about 20 square miles. With land values rising, it is struggling to meet state requirements for growth and affordable housing.

The city is the only jurisdiction in San Diego County without a certified "housing element," or plan for future housing growth. The city’s political landscape is characterized by battles over new developments.

The mayor’s job only became an elected position two years ago. At that time, five candidates ran and Kristin Gaspar won with just under 50 percent of the vote.

The deadline for other candidates to get on the November ballot is Aug. 12.