Gaspar declares supervisor candidacy

Gaspar declares supervisor candidacy
Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar announces she will run for the County Board of Supervisors. Photo courtesy city of Encinitas

ENCINITAS — Kristin Gaspar has made it official: she is running for the County Board of Supervisors seat currently held by Dave Roberts.

Gaspar, 36, has served on the City Council since 2010, including the last year as the city’s first elected mayor, a title she won in 2014 over a field of five candidates, including current councilman Tony Kranz.

She had been rumored to be mulling a run for supervisor but made it official in a news release on Aug. 31.

“I have a lot to offer the county and the communities in the district,” said Gaspar, who serves as the chief financial officer of Gaspar Doctor Physical Therapy, the company she runs with her husband.

The county’s third supervisorial district includes the coastal cities of Encinitas, Solana Beach and Del Mar, a large swath of North San Diego, including Torrey Highlands and Rancho Bernardo, and the city of Escondido.

When Gaspar was elected in 2010, she was part of a conservative majority that became a supermajority when Mark Muir was appointed to replace Maggie Houlihan. In 2012, however, the balance of power on the council shifted when Tony Kranz and Lisa Shaffer were elected and joined with Teresa Barth to create a new liberal-leaning majority on the dais.

Gaspar joined with Mark Muir to oppose the city’s $10 million purchase of the Pacific View Elementary school site from the Encinitas Union School District, and has disagreed with the majority on several other spending decisions, including the decision to not increase funding for infrastructure and road maintenance.

Gaspar is the second Republican candidate to enter the race against Roberts, who some critics believe is vulnerable due to a political controversy involving several ex-staff members, which have accused him of abuse of power, among other things.

Escondido Mayor Sam Abed declared his candidacy in June. Gaspar is often seen as the more moderate of the two Republican challengers.

Roberts, who was elected in 2012 to replace longtime supervisor Pam Slater-Price, has denied the allegations. He issued a news release following Gaspar’s declaration, calling her a “career politician” and asserting that she used the elected mayor position as a political springboard.

“Kristin Gaspar has broken her promise to the people of Encinitas to serve as their first directly elected mayor — only having been elected less than nine months ago,” Roberts said in the statement. “This kind of political opportunism from yet another career politician is just what voters are tired of.”

Roberts also touted his record of collaboration with cities in the region, including Encinitas, highlighting the county’s recent $2.1 million grant to the San Diego Botanic Garden which he helped steward.

Gaspar’s decision to run for the supervisor district could preempt her for running for re-election to her mayoral post, which is a two-year position per the charter amendment approved by voters in 2012. If Gaspar were to qualify for a runoff election after the June primary, she could only run in one race, which would add an additional layer of intrigue to a race that sees four of the five council seats up for re-election.

Gaspar and her husband have three young children in Encinitas schools. She has served as president of the Encinitas Rotary, chair of the Encina Wastewater Authority board and was founder and board member of the North County Leadership Council.

She also is a third-grade grade civics instructor at Mission Estancia Elementary and a Pop Warner coach at La Costa Canyon High School.

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