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Measures A & B fail, Diaz out for supervisor, Issa, Campa-Najjar will face off in November

An extremely nasty campaign season came to an end Tuesday night, and set the stage for what may be an even more  unpleasant season leading up to the November presidential election.

County voters narrowly defeated Measure A, which would have taken the power to amend the County General Plan for developments away from the Board of Supervisors and given it to the people. By a larger margin voters defeated Measure B, the Newland Sierra project, which had been approved by the Board of Supervisors, but was challenged by opponents led, but by no means limited to, the owners of the Golden Door Spa. 

The numbers for Measure A were No, 241,880, 51%; Yes, 232,427, 49%. For Measure B, the results were somewhat more commanding: No, 278,053, 58.35%; Yes, 198,458, 41.65%.

Proponents of Measure A were not yet ready to concede defeat on Wednesday. With the votes on Measure A still being tallied by San Diego County, the Yes on A campaign released the following statement: “The Yes on Measure A campaign is very grateful to our endorsers as well as the hundreds of volunteers who knocked on doors, talked to neighbors, held signs on freeway overpasses and otherwise helped us to get the word out about why passing Measure A is so vital for our community. “Since the very beginning, our goal has been to help create a sustainable future with housing that is more affordable for all San Diego County residents. We will continue working to obtain a more equitable San Diego County, whether Measure A passes or not.” 

They concluded, “We remain encouraged by the level of momentum that our campaign has received, and we remain cautiously optimistic at this time that Measure A will ultimately prevail in this election.”

In the fiercely competitive 50th Congressional District, Former Congressman Darrell Issa has apparently topped his scrappy Republican opponent Carl DeMaio and sent him back to his radio talk show, and will face the Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, who won the overall vote Tuesday night. The breakdown on the numbers was Ammar Campa-Najjar, 38,768, 34.93%; Darrell Issa, 26,529, 23.90%; Carl DeMaio, 23,624, 21.29%; Brian W. Jones, 12,550, 11.31%.  The total of the Republican candidates was 56.5%, highlighting the challenges that Campa-Najjar will face to win the race in November, despite coming in first in this round.

Measure Q, the bond measure for the Escondido Union School District, won a majority, but 55% was required to pass. The results were: Yes, 12,213, 50.87%; No, 11,797, 49.13%. The money would have been used for capital improvements on the district’s aging campuses.

Meanwhile, Escondido city councilwoman Olga Diaz failed in her attempt to be the challenger to Supervisor Kristin Gaspar in the Third District. The results were: Kristin Diane Gaspar, 45,342, 46.26%; Terra Lawson-Remer, 28,499,  29.08%; Olga Diaz, 24,171, 24.66%. The top two vote getters face each other in November, Gaspar, the incumbent and Lawson-Remer, the challenger.  The contest between Lawson-Remer and Diaz was quite bitter at times, with the local Democratic Club voting to endorse both, only to retract the vote and endorse Diaz alone under pressure from her. Gaspar, meantime, maintained a cool and monolithic front that was nearly impossible to pierce with requests for interviews (at least by this newspaper.) Since Diaz is retiring from the Escondido city council at the end of this term, it will be the first time in 12 years that she has not been an elected official.

Campa-Najjar reacted to his win last night by emphasizing his connections to the district.  “Last night we made history, as the only campaign in 40 years to win an election in this district with a name other than Duncan Hunter. I’m grateful to the thousands of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats who once again voted to elect me as their next congressman. As the clear frontrunner in the race, I promise to continue to earn the trust of voters by focusing on issues such as the high cost of living; cutting middle class taxes; reducing prescription drug costs; fixing our failed immigration system; supporting our veterans; repairing our roads and mitigating wildfires; and protecting Medicare and Social Security.” 

He continued, “My reason for running is simple: I was born here, educated here, and unlike my opponent, I live in the district. This community invested in me and now I want to pay it forward. Don’t be fooled, this election is not a partisan showdown between the left and the right, but a clash between an East County outsider and Washington insider, a product of the working class versus a member of the political class, old versus new.”

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