With the exception of the city treasurer’s office, we now know who all of the candidates for city offices will be in November.
Because incumbent City Treasurer Kenneth Hugins decided not to run for another term, the period to file for the City Treasurer was extended five days, to August 17, 5 p.m.
In District 3, Incumbent Olga Diaz will be facing challenger Jose “Joe” Garcia, a pastor and longtime community volunteer.
In District 4, Incumbent Mike Morasco will face challenger Ingrid Rainey, an attorney and business owner.
Running for the treasurer’s office— so far— are Ryan T. Clark, Robroy R. Fawcett, Douglas Shultz and John Trudell.
Diaz has served for eight years, and is running for a third term. Two years ago she unsuccessfully tried to unseat Mayor Sam Abed.
In her candidate’s statement Diaz said, “I have guarded against the waste of your tax dollars while insisting on quality development, infrastructure upgrades and support of core services such as libraries and public safety. I have been the strongest advocate of neighborhood preservation and restoration of the Escondido Creek Trail. I have identified ways to support local business retention and successfully courted new businesses to move to Escondido. In addition, I have served as the City’s representative on several regional boards and commissions.”
She also wrote: “Honesty and hard work are qualities I embrace. I welcome public feedback and believe debate is a necessary part of the democratic process. My demonstrated aptitude for fair and logical decision making stems from my degree in accounting and extensive data analysis experience. We have common goals and if we work together, we can create a welcoming community to raise a family and grow a business.”
Jose “Joe” Garcia
Garcia’s candidate website notes that “For over 25 years, he has worked putting the community first as a church pastor with 13 of those years in the City of Escondido. In that time, Joe has also worked with the Escondido Police Department as the only Spanish-speaking Chaplain in the department. At moments of crisis in the City of Escondido, Joe Garcia has responded by comforting victims, their families, and officers.”
For his volunteer work, he was awarded the “Chief’s Special Recognition Award” and the “2014 Volunteer of the Year Award” by the Escondido Police Department where he has been a chaplain for the last seven years. In 2014, Garcia was appointed as a Community Services Commissioner.
According to his website, “Joe has completed postgraduate coursework in conflict resolution and management while making a career of building bridges between generations, cultures, and ethnicities. He will unite the communities within District 3. Joe Garcia will build upon the work done at City Hall focusing on neighborhood safety, education, and fiscal responsibility. Because of Joe’s work, countless families have found peace and students have made better lives for themselves earning college and graduate degrees. Joe Garcia is a proven leader with experience and a track record of service necessary to serve District 3.”
Garcia came from modest means and was the first of his family to graduate from college. He attended Pacific Union College in the Napa Valley. He has been a pastor for over 25 years. He started his Pastoral Ministry in Calexico, where he met Maria, fell in love with her and they married March 3, 1991. They have raised their three children in Escondido.
In August of 1991, he began attending Seminary at Andrews University where he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 1994. He completed postgraduate training at Fuller Theological Seminary.
In Mike Morasco’s website he writes: “As your Councilman, I keep three priorities in focus: Fiscal responsibility: I’ve worked with my colleagues to balance the city budget 6 consecutive years while creating significant budget reserves to prevent the kind of deficit spending budgets that plagued Escondido in the past.
Escondido has never been in better fiscal health.
“Public Safety: We’ve established Escondido as one of the premier law enforcement cities in San Diego County. I’ve worked to increase staffing levels for both Police and Fire, hiring the best possible, and will continue to improve the excellent level of service you deserve. I’m proud of our work to aggressively tackle blighted properties, fight gangs and graffiti and to beautify our community.
“Efficient, Responsive Government: I’ve worked successfully to reduce the size of government, creating a more efficient workforce focused on customer service at City Hall. To effect this positive shift in culture we worked to attract highly talented new members of our city leadership team, starting from the top.
I’m proud of Escondido and optimistic about our future.
Morasco concludes, “It’s my honor to serve you, and my commitment to hear your concerns personally. I’d be grateful to earn your vote again.”
In her website Ingrid Rainey writes: We are blessed to live in Escondido! I am a licensed California attorney who has worked in education for fourteen years, and I own a small business in Escondido. My husband and I have been together for fourteen years.
“I pledge to work with the community to grow businesses and keep our neighborhoods safe. My goal is to balance the budget, fight crime, create jobs, improve neighborhoods, and connect with my constituents. Investing in our infrastructure, businesses, libraries, and schools is essential.”
Rainey has volunteered at Legal Aid Society, Family Justice Center, Special Olympics, Food Bank, and an orphanage in Sudan. She also translated for doctors and nurses providing medical care to the poor in Honduras. She speaks Spanish, Farsi, and French and graduated from Auburn University and Thomas Jefferson School of Law.”
She writes: “As Vice-President of the Board of the FBI San Diego Citizens Academy Alumni Association, our mission is to provide a diverse voice to the FBI from the community. I am dedicated to public safety while promoting growth and fiscal responsibility. Responsibility with the City of Escondido’s finances is key by ensuring our money is spent in areas that keep our city safe, parks clean, and businesses flourishing.”