REGION — Escondido Mayor Sam Abed announced Monday he will run for County Supervisor Dave Roberts’ seat in District 3 in the November 2016 election.
Abed has been a vocal critic about recent allegations against Roberts from his former staff members.
“I have worked with Supervisor Roberts for the last three years,” Abed said. “We have had a good relationship. We work together to make sure Escondido’s interests are served but when this came about, this is a leadership question. This is an integrity question.”
In May, two of Roberts’ former staff members filed complaints accusing him of misusing county funds for his campaign, creating a hostile work environment and having an inappropriate relationship with a staff member.
Roberts has denied the claims and said his mistake was hiring the wrong personnel.
Roberts is the only democrat on the County Board of Supervisors.
He represents the coastal cities between Torrey Pines State Beach and Encinitas, and Escondido, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Scripps Ranch, Tierrasanta, Sabre Springs and Sorrento Valley.
The county administers law enforcement, library and other services to the cities.
Term limits were introduced in 2010, which means Supervisor Greg Cox will be termed out of the District 1 seat in 2018.
Supervisor Ron Roberts in District 4 will also reach term limits in 2018.
Abed hopes to replace Roberts and keep the board majority conservative.
“As term limits come to the San Diego Board of Supervisors, it’s critical to have a fiscal conservative supervisor joining Bill Horn, and the rest of the supervisors and Ron Roberts and Dianne Jacobs,” Abed said.
District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has neither confirmed nor denied that she is investigating Roberts.
“We don’t confirm or deny whether or not we’re looking at cases, particularly in the area of political corruption for very good reason. We want to be very cautious that before we do anything, we know what we have so for that reason we really don’t talk about it,” Dumanis told San Diego CW 6.
Gary Gartner, Roberts’ spokesperson said he is currently not under a formal investigation.
Abed said he has already filed papers to run with the County Registrar of Voters and has $100,000 in campaign funds.
He hopes to raise $500,000 to face Roberts.
“We are ready to roll, raise funds and send Dave Roberts back home,” Abed said.
Escondido Councilmembers Ed Gallo and John Masson were at the press conference to voice their support for Abed, who was re-elected mayor last November.
“Sam’s done a tremendous job for Escondido over the years, leading us into prosperity and I think he’ll do a fantastic job as our county supervisor and our representative on a larger scale,” said Masson.
Abed said he didn’t originally plan to run but decided to after the allegations against Robert surfaced.
“The trust with the county residents and the broken relationship with the County Board of Supervisors will never be restored under Supervisor Dave Roberts,” Abed said. “I was not planning to run for office but I owe it to the 630,000 residents of District 3,” Abed said.
He’s received support from Congressman Darell Issa and State Assemblywoman Marie Waldron.
This story has been updated. A previous version said Escondido Councilman Mike Morasco spoke at the press conference. It was Councilman John Masson.