This story has been updated.

State Sen. Joel Anderson is dropping his bid to unseat fellow Republican Dianne Jacob for county supervisor.

Anderson told the Lincoln Club’s political action committee Friday night he won’t try to keep Jacob from her seventh term representing East County. He’ll instead run for the seat in 2020, once Jacob is termed out, he said at the meeting.

His aborted challenge looks to have come with an added bonus: He found a way to skirt a major campaign finance restriction in the race four years from now. When he turns his attention to the 2020 race, he’ll have an advantage that isn’t open to any other candidate.

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The County’s Republican Party last year dumped $200,000 into Anderson’s supervisor run. And campaign finance rules allow candidates to transfer money between accounts bearing their name.

That’s true even though the County Board of Supervisors voted last year to impose a $25,000 limitation on donations from political parties to supervisor campaigns. The Republican Party made its donation to Anderson just a day before that limitation took effect.

That means Anderson will be able to put the party’s entire $200,000 donation into his 2020 race. It’s a donation eight times larger than county parties will be permitted to make to any other 2020 candidate – a restriction that at that point will have been in place for five years.

He has, in essence, figured out how to make the restriction disappear for him, even while it’ll still be in place for anyone he runs against in four years.

Anderson’s campaign confirmed Friday night that he was dropping out of the race and would instead run in 2020.

    This article relates to: Election, Must Reads, Politics

    Written by Andrew Keatts

    I'm Andrew Keatts, a reporter for Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at or 619.325.0529.

    Don Wood
    Don Wood subscriber

    Anderson is laughing all the way to the bank. He knew he never had a chance to defeat popular Diann Jacobs for a seat on the County Board of Supervisors, but he took advantage of the fact that SDG&E is pissed at Jacobs for opposing the Sunrise Power link to grab huge bundles of cash from Sempra, from the local GOP, which is controlled by Sempra and from the regional chamber of commerce, which is controlled by Sempra and SDG&E to bolster his campaign funds, then dropped out of the race. And there is no way for the utility, its holding company, the local party or the chamber to get any of their money back. I suspect that
    Anderson and his staff go to bed thinking "there's a sucker born every minute".

    blue sage
    blue sage subscriber

    THIS is the sort of "integrity" we should elect to protect the public interest? Are you kidding? The public interests is already being betrayed by an extreme super-abundance of the self- and corporate-serving in elected and appointed offices locally, regionally, and nationally. Just scan the headlines! Isn't EVERYONE sick, sick, sick of it? Joel Anderson is showing us that he deserves NOT, NOT, NOT to be elected to "public service" -- but, rather, excused. Spread the word.

    Roy Benstead
    Roy Benstead subscribermember

    He is a past master of Campaign Finance shenanigans so should expect this sort of stuff from him. 

    Ethics? What Ethics?

    Gregory Hay
    Gregory Hay subscriber

    So should we applaud his ingenuity, or be outraged at his lack of ethics?

    Well… he is a politician, so I guess we can't really bothered with #2 anymore.