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Roundtable: Candidates Raise Issues, Money In County Supes Races

San Diego County Board of Supervisors in chamber on June 26, 2019.
John Carroll
San Diego County Board of Supervisors in chamber on June 26, 2019.
The races for three seats (Districts 1, 2, and 3) on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will determine which party dominates the five-member board and directs spending of the $6 billion-plus budget

Steve Walsh, KPBS News

Charles Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune

Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego

Pollution, resources are issues for District 1

The Supervisor seat in District 1 in the South Bay includes Chula Vista, National City, Imperial Beach, Coronado, San Ysidro and Barrio Logan. The seat has been held for 20 years by Chula Vistan Greg Cox, now termed-out. The top candidates in terms of fundraising are real estate attorney Rafael Castellanos, Southwestern Community College Board president Nora Vargas and State Senator Ben Hueso (who is not yet termed out of that office). The big issues in D-1 are sewage flowing onto district beaches from Tijuana, air pollution and enrolling more people in programs for health care and public assistance.

Related: Supervisorial Candidates Want To Tackle Pollution, Improve Health Care Access For South Bay

Climate Change, Housing Dominate Issues in District 3


The third district covers the North Coast to Leucadia and runs east to Escondido, San Pasqual and Rancho Bernardo. The Board's current 4-1 Republican advantage is in danger in this district, as Democrats hold a registration advantage of about 25,000. The incumbent is Republican Kristin Gaspar, who declined to be interviewed by KPBS and the San Diego Union-Tribune. She faces Democrats Olga Diaz and Terra Lawson-Remer. Diaz, the first Latina elected to the Escondido City Council, lists her priorities as solving chronic homelessness, climate change and increasing housing. Lawson-Remer, an economist, professor and research fellow at UC San Diego, favors a more aggressive approach to climate change than the current County plan.

Related: Third District County Supervisor Race Could Create Historic Change

Whoever wins, District 2 will change

Supervisor Dianne Jacob has held the District 2 seat for 28 years. She is termed out, and change is inevitable. District 2 is 2,000 square miles from the southern border north to Julian, from the Imperial County border west to San Diego State. In the 2016 election, the San Diego GOP endorsed State Senator Joel Anderson over the incumbent Jacob. Anderson is running again and is endorsed again by the GOP. Jacob has endorsed Steve Vaus, currently serving his second term as mayor of Poway. Vaus is chairman of The San Diego Association of Governments, and he lists his issues as fire and police protection and deregulation of housing construction. Anderson declined to talk to KPBS. For Democrat Kenya Taylor, a marriage and family therapist, the main issues are the mental health crisis and supporting small businesses.

Related: San Diego County’s District 2 Supervisor Seat Is On The Cusp of Change

The 2024 primary election is March 5. Find in-depth reporting on each race to help you understand what's on your ballot.