North County Report: GOP Endorses a Newcomer for Assembly Over Seasoned Pols

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North County Report: GOP Endorses a Newcomer for Assembly Over Seasoned Pols

Two Solana Beach council members resign without much explanation, cities are coordinating their approaches to homelessness and more in our weekly roundup of North County news.
Tony Krvaric, chairman of the Republican Party of San Diego County, in 2013, at a press conference to denounce a proposed sales tax increase. / Photo by Sam Hodgson

A surge of Republican and Democratic candidates in North County’s state, county and federal races has left both parties anxious that one of their own might not make it through the open primary system in June.

But while the Democrats have not made endorsements in the 49th Congressional and 76th state Assembly district races, they have endorsed Michelle Gomez over Jacqueline Arsivaud for District 5 County Supervisor. The Republicans, meanwhile, have made endorsements in all three races.

Their choice in the 49th Congressional District, Diane Harkey, was no big surprise: She’s positioned herself over Rocky Chavez as a fiscal hawk and anti-tax crusader.

Chavez and Harkey tied for the lead in recent polling conducted by a liberal political action committee. But Chavez was unlikely to get the party’s nod in part because of his support of the cap-and-trade extension last summer.

The other Republican candidate, County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, is considered a rising star within the party yet has fielded calls by talk radio host Carl DeMaio to drop out of the race.

In the 5th District race for county supervisor, San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond received the party’s endorsement over Oceanside Councilman Jerry Kern. At recent meetings, Desmond has dropped several bombastic lines, like that marijuana users are “leeches on government services” and “In the City of San Marcos, there is no ‘press 2 for Spanish.’”

Kern, however, has spoken more favorably of allowing cannabis — a position that’s not very popular among Republicans. “The voters had their say in Proposition 64 — who am I to tell them ‘no’ now?” Kern has said. He also played up Desmond’s support for a proposed county-wide half-cent sales tax increase in 2016.

Perhaps the most surprising Republican endorsement came in the 76th Assembly District for Phil Graham. Graham has not held elected office and dropped out of the 76th Assembly race in 2016. He went on to run for the Encinitas City Council, but lost.

By endorsing Graham, the party passed on several seasoned North County Republicans, including Vista City Councilwoman Amanda Rigby, San Dieguito Union High School District Board Member Mo Muir and former Encinitas City Councilman Jerome Stocks.

Of course, Graham is by far the strongest candidate financially. He was the only Republican candidate to report any fundraising last year — nearly $90,000.

He is also the stepson of former Gov. Pete Wilson, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Concerned that two Republicans will get through the 49th primary in June, Drew Godinich, West Coast spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the OC Register that “all options are on the table” to ensure a Democrat competes in November. The district leans Republican and none of the four Democrats in the competition seems willing to bow out. The national parties normally do not get involved in the primary, but the 49th is attracting significant media attention as a district that Democrats might flip.

Two Solana Beach Leaders Resign Within Weeks of Each Other

In the past few weeks, two members of the five-person City Council in Solana Beach have resigned with no warning and hardly an explanation.

First was Councilman Mike Nichols, whose fourth term was set to end in December. Nichols submitted a letter to the city manager on March 11, announcing he was stepping down the next day to handle “pressing family matters.”

Then on April 5, Mayor Ginger Marshall announced her resignation, at the time with no explanation.

Marshall later told The Coast News that she “wanted to leave on a good note, not a sour note.” She also told NBC 7 that she and her husband were moving out of state, and city business and the council were taking up her remaining time.

“I want to spend the remainder of my time here with friends and family and want to enjoy their company,” she told the station.

The City Council has until December to either pick replacements for both seats, =hold a special election or do nothing until the November election.

The City Council chose to move ahead with an appointment for Nichols’ seat, and indicated it would do the same for Marshall’s, both on the condition that the appointees wouldn’t run for a full term.

Cross Section of North County Organizations Coordinate Homelessness Efforts

The Union-Tribune reported on an effort to coordinate approaches to homelessness among public agencies and private groups in North County.

Greg Anglea, executive director of Interfaith Community Services and CEO of the Alliance for Regional Solutions, is heading up the effort, composed of dozens of cities, health care providers, social workers and law enforcement.

Anglea told the U-T that the effort is still in its very early stages but would bring the different stakeholders together to find common ground among their different missions.

“Different people have different motivations,” Anglea told the paper. “Business owners, schools, hospitals, we all have different perspectives and reasons to be involved, and we thought if we got everyone together, we could probably find some common ground.”

Also in the News

The Union-Tribune asked all the District 5 county supervisor candidates their views on issues. Here are the responses for Gomez, Arsivaud, Desmond, and Kern.

Oceanside Police are the first in the county to get a “drone killer,” a device capable of downing or returning a drone to its operator during emergencies. (The Coast News)

Oceanside Unified has launched its search for a new superintendent. (Union-Tribune)

Encinitas has finalized its list of sites that could see dense residential development under a state-mandated plan to allow for more housing in the city. The sites still need to be approved by the state, but among them is a city-owned parcel on Quail Gardens Drive that could account for 190 deed-restricted affordable units, according to Mayor Catherine Blakespear. (Union-Tribune)

Escondido will consider selling nine acres of downtown land, which the city bought for $12 million for a minor league baseball park before redevelopment agencies were eliminated. (Union-Tribune)

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