New faces on SB council, other races too close to call

New faces on SB council, other races too close to call
Dave Roberts (center) thanks supporters at his election campaign headquarters in Escondido the night of the election. Roberts is vying for the District 3 Board of Supervisors' seat. The latest returns show Roberts has a slight lead over his opponent Steve Danon. Photo by Tony Cagala

COAST CITIES — Three candidates, including an incumbent, for the Solana Beach City Council were comfortable claiming victory the day after the Nov. 6 election, but other races affecting that city and Del Mar were too close to call at press time. 

With all but provisional and last minute absentee ballots counted, Dave Roberts was ahead of Steve Danon in the race for the District 3 seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

But with only 1,895 votes separating them and 75,000 District 3 ballots to count, neither was claiming victory or defeat immediately.

“I’m cautiously optimistic I’ll be the next 3rd District supervisor but I’m still waiting for the county to certify the results,” current Solana Beach Councilman Roberts said.

“It’s close but I think it shows people want a proven leader with roots in the community who can produce results,” he said.

“I’d rather be in his position than mine, absolutely,” Danon, chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray, said the day after the election. “But I think it’s safe to say that technically the race is still in play, especially if it mirrors what happened in the primary.”

In that race Danon said he picked up about 1,500 votes after absentee and provisional ballots were counted.

Danon said he had no idea how the race was going to play out but he was “humbled by all the people who let me into their living rooms and shared their experiences.”

“I’m glad the campaign is over,” he said. “Dave ran a spirited race.”

At press time Roberts led 69,131 to 67,235.

The day after the election, Bilbray was also trailing marginally, with his opponent for the U.S. House of Representatives Scott Peters leading 103,878 to 103,193.

But with only 685 votes dividing the candidates and 475,000 absentee and provisional ballots countywide to be counted, Danon said as Bilbray’s chief of staff he was going to hold off commenting on that race.

In an at-times nasty election that included name calling and alleged sign stealing and assault, incumbent Lesa Heebner, Peter Zahn and David Zito were the top vote-getters for three seats on the Solana Beach City Council.

After 20 years on the council, Mayor Joe Kellejian did not seek re-election and Roberts stepped down to run for the Board of Supervisors.

“I’m thrilled,” Heebner said. “I’m so thankful Solana Beach voters were able to see through the lies and elect the best, most qualified candidates to the council.”

Her opponent Vickie Driver, who finished 258 votes shy of third place, said she was happy the campaign was over, although she met “some really fantastic people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.”

“I wanted to give back to the city,” she said. “I’m glad it got people out to vote and got them excited about what’s going on in Solana Beach.”

Driver, who currently serves as chairwoman of the Public Safety Commission, said she will continue to volunteer in the city.

“I was happy to bring out some issues for the betterment of Solana Beach, including improving communications to citizens and local businesses about the full impact of decisions and their unintended consequences,” said fifth-place finisher Daniel Powell.

“I wish the new council well in tackling the city’s falling revenues and will work with them, if asked, on ways to shore up this serious problem.”

Paul Frankel did not return a request for comment by press time.

In Del Mar, incumbent Don Mosier, Sherryl Parks and Al Corti were the only candidates for three vacant seats. Mayor Carl Hilliard and Mark Filanc didn’t seek re-election.

 

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