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South County Voters Face Interesting Choices

San Diego County board of supervisors candidates Ben Hueso (left) and Nora Vargas (right) in this undated photo
Campaign Photos
San Diego County board of supervisors candidates Ben Hueso (left) and Nora Vargas (right) in this undated photo
The big race in South County this election season is the race for County Supervisor in District 1. Greg Cox, who held the seat for 25 years, is termed out. State Senator Ben Hueso and Planned Parenthood VP Nora Vargas, both Democrats, are competing in the race. The Board is non-partisan, but has been dominated by Republicans for decades.

The race for Congressional District 51 in South San Diego County is, to put it bluntly, not close.

After all, Congressman Juan Vargas (D-National City) has faced his opponent, Juan Hidalgo, a Republican, also from National City, in the 51st District twice before. Vargas won more than 70% of the vote both times in the heavily Democratic district.

The South Bay, however, does have some interesting down-ballot races to keep an eye on. Gustavo Solis, a reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune who covers the South Bay, discussed them with KPBS Midday Edition host Mark Sauer.

Two Democrats, state Senator Ben Hueso and Southwestern Community College District board member Nora Vargas, are competing for the District 1 seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

Related: Two Democrats Vying For County Supervisor Seat That’s Been In GOP Hands For Decades

Republican Greg Cox has represented District 1 for 25 years and is termed out, which means that there will be at least two Democrats on the five-member board for the first time.

The contest for the San Diego City Council's District 9 seat was thrown into disarray last month when Kelvin Barrios ended his campaign after he admitted to misusing funds while he was treasurer of the San Diego County Young Democrats.

Because of timing, Barrios will appear on the ballot along with his opponent, Democrat Sean Elo-Rivera. Barrios has said he'll serve if elected.

Related: Kelvin Barrios Ending Campaign For District 9 Seat

And, in a first, KPBS Midday Edition featured coverage of a race for one seat on the Otay Water District board. That's because the incumbent, Hector Gastellum, who previously ran for several offices unsuccessfully, posted divisive, racist remarks to his social media accounts while on the board.