The Coast News Group

Challenger appears in race for supervisor

VISTA — Vista Councilman Steve Gronke has entered the race for the District 5 seat on the County Board of Supervisors. He will face incumbent Bill Horn for a four-year seat in 2010. District 5 includes Vista, San Marcos, Carlsbad, Oceanside and the unincorporated regions of 4S Ranch, Bonsall, Del Dios, Fallbrook, Rancho Santa Fe and Camp Pendleton.
Gronke is a high school teacher at North Star Academy, a three-term city councilman and a married father of two. A strong proponent of public safety and social services, Gronke said he is jumping into the race early to show he is serious about winning.
The councilman faces an uphill fight. Horn, who is currently serving his fourth consecutive term, has won by comfortable margins since 1994 and has strong support from developers and farmers.
“I have no illusions that this is not going to be a difficult race,” Gronke said. “He’s well-financed. He has big money backers. They’ve kind of taken control of the county and I want to break that control if I can.”
As yet, he has picked up no official endorsements, but Gronke said he has the underground support of a number of prominent officials. He said this is part of the reason he is running.
“Part of my opponent’s nature is to be rather vindictive,” Gronke said. “I cannot publicly state who my supporters are because they will be hurt … people are afraid. To me, that’s no way to run government.”
Gronke has a Web presence at