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A Look At The Races, Issues On The Ballot In San Diego's North County

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Speaker 1: 00:00 As the 2020 March primary approaches, we want to turn our attention to the North County where there are a number of contests on the ballot, including the 49th congressional district and a County board seat. The democratic party has been eyeing here to walk us through the races is KPBS is Alison st John. Alison, welcome. Having to be irritated. So first, what are the most significant election issues in North County this season?

Speaker 2: 00:24 Well, basically we have quite a number of very important seats, which are, I'm setting themselves up for November as we know. Of course this is the primary. So what we're looking at is who's going to run against the incumbents in November. And then we have of course the measure a and B, which are causing controversy throughout the whole County and we'll really have a big impact on growth and development in the future. Plus we have a couple of local initiatives including one in Oceanside, which really sort of symbolizes growing pains of a of a city that's growing up in North County.

Speaker 1: 00:58 Our incumbents, a Congressman, Mike Levin and County supervisor Kristin gasp, are facing tough races. In November.

Speaker 2: 01:04 Well basically my 11, um, and Kristen gas bar, uh, Mike Levin is a Democrat who won the 49th and he is up against a Republican San Juan Capistrano mayor Brian Marriott, which is likely to be, um, not that hard for him at the moment. He's doing well. He has raised twice as much money as Brian Marriott and the benefits that the democratic registration at San Diego County dump definitely benefit him. There is still a very heavily Republican registration in orange County and that district, they're the 49th congressional stretches between San Diego and orange County. So he does still have a little bit of a challenge. They're facing him in November because if the San Diego voters don't show up, the orange County voters will risk out numbering the Democrats in San Diego. So he has to campaign, um, he is campaigning. We are seeing flyers from those campaigns coming out. And then in the case of the supervisor's race, Kristin Gaspar is the Republican who actually won the third district from a Democrat, um, Dave Roberts and she is facing two democratic challengers. That's really one of the most interesting races in North County because the Democrats are pouring resources to see which of these two Democrats will, uh, face up against Kristin Gaspar. And the registration there is against Christian gas bar. It is predominantly democratic registration, that district. So that's definitely wants to keep an eye on.

Speaker 1: 02:37 Let's talk a bit about who the democratic challengers are in the supervisor's race and who's endorsing Olga Diaz and Terra Lawson Riemer.

Speaker 2: 02:45 Oh, good. This has been endorsed. I know despite the San Diego union Tribune, she is on the city council in Escondido. And one thing that was perhaps a little surprising was that her own mayor, mayor Paul McNamara, changed his endorsement and decided to endorse Terra Lawson reamer instead of his own city council woman. So that was a bit of a surprise. But, um, Tara Lawson, Rema is also endorsed, uh, at the federal level. She's been endorsed by Adam Schiff and I'm thinking that's because she was a mastermind behind the flip, the 40 nines campaign that got Mike Leben put into office. Uh, Adam Schiff was also very instrumental in supporting Mike Levin. So it looks like, you know, the Washington crowd is supporting, uh, Tara and seeing her as an up and coming, uh, good thinker, a good policy thinker, somebody they would like to see moving up the ranks in the democratic party. Uh, all the ideas is credited with changing the culture in Escondido from one that was pretty anti-immigrant to one that is much more tolerant. And so she has some local support.

Speaker 1: 03:49 And let's move on to the state assembly. The 77 state assembly seed is held by Brian Mayne shine, who narrowly won reelection as a Republican in 2018. He has since left the GOP and become a Democrat. Does it appear he'll be able to hold onto his seat with the Dean next to his name on the ballot? Yes, that causes a lot of controversy, but I can change it

Speaker 2: 04:09 party. But he definitely, uh, saw the writing on the wall and last year and got on the winning horse because the registration in that district, the assembly district has definitely switched from being predominantly Republican to predominantly Democrat. He was always a moderate Republican. And, um, I think he's convinced the Democrats that actually he uh, has his heart in their side of the aisle. They are welcoming him. They are not providing anybody to run against him. I guess they don't want to discourage politicians from switching parties over to the democratic side. He does have a Republican challenger June cutter, but she has raised only a few hundred thousand to Brian main shines almost a million at this point.

Speaker 1: 04:51 Meanwhile, ocean side will elect a new mayor in November. Why has the current mayor Pete, why so now I'm just, he's running for a council seat instead of mayor.

Speaker 2: 04:59 Yes. That was a many people might wonder if you're the mayor. He was appointed to the mayor rather after Jim woods had to drop out in the middle of his term due to health reasons. And Peter Weiss said he didn't know if he was going to run or not at that point. Now he's decided to run for city council seat and when you do the math as it were in local politics is all about the vote. There's five people on the council and the mayor has one vote so that that means that he's really no more powerful than any of the district representatives. So he might have split the vote with Rocky Chavez who's running for mayor and other Republican and allowed a Democrat to get in. So I think he's calculating that. It's more likely that he will keep some kind of pro-development vote on the Oceanside city council if he runs for a district seat where he is less likely to be challenged.

Speaker 1: 05:50 There are also two housing development related measures on the ballot measure and measure B. What uh, are people in North saying about these?

Speaker 2: 05:59 These are really crucial measures and I'm hoping that people all over the County are giving them a good look and thinking carefully about them. The first one measure a would mean that you had to put, uh, any kind of new development that did not fit with the general plan in the County to a public vote. And so that one is basically pretty similar in North County in the sense that if you care about more housing, you might decide not to vote for it. If you care about preventing sprawl, you might think it's a good idea. But it's interesting because the North County, uh, North County mayor of Escondido, Paul McNamara has come out saying that he thinks it would be a good idea because Escondido has a similar measure where you have to put it to the vote of the people and it has not deterred development. On the other hand, you look at Encinitas, which has a very similar measure also and it has definitely deterred development.

Speaker 2: 06:55 So much so that the state is currently challenging Encinitas and saying that they cannot meet their housing goals while they still have that on the books. So it is a very important issue. And, um, I think as in everywhere else in the County, it's split in North County. Measure B is about, uh, big developments. Uterine Sierra, just North of San Marcus, North of Escondido. And again, people are, are split on that. There's a sense that if you think that, that we need more housing up the 15, uh, to, to prevent people from moving out to, to, it would be a good idea. But then the people who think 15 is already totally crowded, uh, are probably against it. So it's, it's one that will be of particular importance to North County, and yet the whole County is voting on it. And I think that is one of the questions is whether people in Chula Vista, um, can vote fairly on a development up in the North County.

Speaker 1: 07:56 I've been speaking with KPBS is Alison st John. Alison, thank you very much for joining us. Have to be irritated.

Speaker 3: 08:07 [inaudible].

Voters in San Diego's north county will get to weigh in on several major races next month, from a county supervisor's seat to the 49th Congressional district race and a couple of housing development ballot measures.

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Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon host KPBS Midday Edition, a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.