County Board of Supervisors

Board of Supervisors Dist. 2 Race Coming Down to the Wire

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If you're looking for local election drama, look no further than the race for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors District 2 seat.

Two Republican candidates, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus and former Assemblymember Joel Anderson, are pitted against each other in a bid to replace Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

Votes are still being counted, but as of Tuesday evening's update from the county Registrar of Voters, Anderson had claimed the lead with a paper-thin 7 vote margin.

There are only 33,000 county ballots left to be processed, according to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

District 2 isn't the only seat on the board up for grabs during the 2020 Election, but it's one of only two races that are that close (Santee's District 4 City Council race is separated by just two votes).

Here's where the race stands now:

The winner of District 3 will decide the party majority on the board.

If incumbent Kristin Gaspar wins, the board will lean red as it virtually always has. If Democratic challenger Terra Lawson-Remer wins, the seat will flip blue and Democrats will have the majority for the first time in around three decades.

The latter seemed more likely as results continuously updated since Election Night have shown Lawson-Remer keeping a commanding lead.

Here's where the race stands now:

NBC 7's Priya Sridhar breaks down where each race stands.

Lawson-Remer attributed her lead to her district wanting change.

"I think people just saw what I'm about and what I'm going to bring to the county and that kind of leadership. And just did not want to see the divisive Trump agenda here in San Diego," Lawson-Remer said. "They wanted someone who can solve our problems.”

District 3 spans the coastal communities of Del Mar and Encinitas, as well as east across state Route 52, and also includes the Interstate 15 connected communities of Tierrasanta and Escondido. At the top of the agenda for the district is picking up the pieces from the pandemic.

Districts 1, 2 and 3 are all getting new supervisors this year. District 1 has two Democratic candidates, Nora Vargas and Ben Hueso. By Saturday evening, Vargas had secured 56.02% of the votes to Hueso's 43.98%, leading by more than 25,500 votes.

Here's where the race stands now:

Districts 4 and 5 were not up for re-election and are represented by Democrat Nathan Fletcher and Republican Jim Desmond, respectively. So that means District 3 is the race that has the power to decide the Board of Supervisors' ideology.

The district has approximately 17,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans. San Diego's Democrats want to flip the seat and, in a presidential election year, the higher-than-usual turnout will also likely play a role in the outcome.

Lawson-Remer is an economist and environmental attorney who worked in the Treasury Department during the Obama Administration. She believes a slower approach to reopening is a better approach.

"Our route to reopening our economy is investing in public health," Lawson-Remer said weeks before Election Night. "To me, the notion that we're calling to reopen bars before we're reopening childcare and schools is an insult to working families."

Gaspar has served as supervisor for District 3 since 2016. She's also served four years on the Encinitas City Council and was the first elected mayor of Encinitas. She's been a proponent of opening up businesses to reduce the impact of the pandemic on small business owners.

"We need to really make sure that our businesses are ready, and, in my opinion, they are indeed ready," Gaspar told NBC 7 in September. "We need to keep a keen eye on our school re-openings and, most importantly, we need to meet people where they're at."

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