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Election season off to early start in Encinitas

Gaspar picks up endorsements; Horvath to run for city council; Blakespear mulls mayoral run

Correction: The original publication incorrectly identified Mimi Walters as a State Assemblywoman. She is a U.S. Rep.

ENCINITAS — The 2016 election season is getting off to an early start in Encinitas with a flurry of news that could impact both the City Council and Board of Supervisors races.

Kristin Gaspar, who announced in September she was running for the District 3 supervisor seat currently held by Dave Roberts, announced over the past week that she received endorsements from a number of local and state officials, including San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and State Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside).

Gaspar, a Republican, also received endorsements from State Senator Joel Anderson (R-El Cajon), US Rep. Mimi Walters, and San Diego City Councilmembers Chris Cate, Lori Zapf, Mark Kersey and Scott Sherman.

Gaspar is one of two Republican candidates vying for the nonpartisan post against Roberts, who is a Democrat. Escondido Mayor Sam Abed has also declared his candidacy.

Gaspar’s early endorsements and campaign’s apparent traction could send ripples into the Nov. 8, 2016 city council election, where Gaspar’s mayoral seat — which is up for re-election — could become fully open if she wins the June supervisor primary outright or advances to a runoff election.

One person closely monitoring the situation is Encinitas Deputy Mayor Catherine Blakespear, who recently requested candidacy paperwork from the City Clerk’s office. Blakespear, who was elected in 2014, said she would strongly consider running for mayor if Gaspar succeeds in the supervisor race.

“I haven’t decided if I’m running for mayor yet but I picked up the paperwork to remind myself what information is required to open a committee,” Blakespear said to reporters. “I’m considering running for mayor because the seat will be open with Kristin Gaspar running for Supervisor.”

If she opts to not run, Blakespear would remain on the council until 2018. She holds the only council seat that is not up for election in 2016.

One official who has signaled her intent to run for the City Council is Tasha Boerner Horvath, who was recently appointed to the Planning Commission.

Horvath, who was appointed in June, was a champion of improving safety conditions around Paul Ecke Central Elementary. Blakespear said she supports Horvath’s candidacy and would likely endorse her.


This article has been modified since the time of publication.