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Contentious election comes to a close

ENCINITAS — In unofficial results released by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, one incumbent was returned to a seat on the City Council, while Mayor Dan Dalager lost his bid for a third term.
First-time candidate Kristin Gaspar received the most votes of the four candidates, totaling 8,095 or 28.73 percent of the total votes. Councilwoman Teresa Barth came in second with 7,292 or 25.88 percent of the total votes.
Four candidates were vying for two spots. Tony Kranz placed third with 6,419 votes or 22.78 percent of the votes while Dalager placed last with 6,368 votes or 22.60 percent of the votes.
While Gaspar and Dalager were featured together on several slate mailers and their campaign signs hung next to one another, the incumbent mayor was mired in controversy as an ethics investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission was taken over by the district attorney’s office. Dalager could not be reached for comment.
“I’m very pleased to have been re-elected and I will continue to work on the issues that the public is concerned about,” Barth said. The returning councilwoman cited “open government, community sensitive development, environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility” as priorities for City Hall.
“I will continue to champion those for the next four years,” she said. “Those are the issues I heard voters most concerned about during the campaign.”
Kranz vowed to continue his involvement in local issues despite his loss in the council race. “It’s a little disappointing that I wasn’t able to win a seat,” he said. “I intend to pursue ideas that are good for the community from the floor of the council chambers.”
With little time to fret about his loss as a candidate, Kranz said the experience of running a campaign was motivating. “Because of the fantastic volunteers that stepped forward, I’m inspired to fight for the things I think are good for Encinitas.”
“I decided to run because some of the City Council acted like bullies,” Kranz said. “Dan Dalager was one of those people and he is out.”
“Kristin (Gaspar) ran as a unifying voice and I’m hoping she will make good on that promise.”
While Gaspar said she’s new to the political arena, she said she’s not new to the community. “I’ve spent almost the past 10 years to build the community stronger and that’s what I continue to do on the council,” she said.
Gaspar celebrated her victory at Beachside Bar and Grill with approximately 75 to 100 supporters. “It took community support, hard work and campaigning door to door, a mail campaign to win,” she said.
Despite publicly voiced criticism of her use of slate mailers that were seen by some as deceptive, Gaspar said she doesn’t have any regrets. “There is little that I would have changed,” she said regarding her campaign.
Gaspar is heading off to Disneyland with her family to celebrate her win.
On Tuesday, Dec. 14 the new council will be sworn in and a new mayor and deputy mayor will be selected.