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Former Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar ran away with the primary win. Photo via Facebook
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Election Roundup: Gaspar wins, Measure A still undecided

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated both the San Diego County Republican and Democratic parties supported Measure A.

REGION — The race between two Democrats to advance to the general election appears to have been settled.

Terra Lawson-Remer, a former President Barack Obama official, was leading Escondido Councilwoman Olga Diaz by more than 4,000 votes in the race to advance to the primary election for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors District 3 seat.

Incumbent Kristin Gaspar ran away with the primary win, as the election was for the Democratic presidential race, leaving Lawson-Remer and Diaz to slug it out. However, as of March 4, 350,000 ballots were outstanding, according to the Registrar of Voters.

As such, Lawson-Remer said on March 4 she has not called the victory and is playing the waiting game for the next several days (election results will be updated online). Regardless of her positioning, she said it was a big day for Democrats and for a new direction on the board.

“I think the overwhelming message from last night is that the majority of the voters in the district have rejected Kristin Gaspar,” Lawson-Remer said. “They are looking for new leadership on the county Board of Supervisors. We’ve run a really good race and we’re looking really strong.”

Gaspar, meanwhile, recorded 46% of the vote and her campaign manager, Jason Roe, said her showing was better than expected. Noting the high Democratic turnout due to the presidential primary, Roe said Democrats had more reason to turn out than Republicans, which come November will not be the case.

As for Gaspar’s challenger, if Lawson-Remer holds on, Roe said her “far left” policies will drive more independents to Gaspar.

“I think Kristin’s showing is demonstrating cross-over appeal to independents and moderate democrats,” he added. “I think going into November, it will be a stark contrast between Kristin and a far left progressive that is going to probably receive more than $1 million SEIU (Services Employees International Union) backing.”

In other election news, two controversial measures had split results. Measure A, which would require voter approval to amend the county’s General Plan regarding development in rural and semi-rural areas, appears headed for defeat, with “no” votes leading 51% to 49% as of March 5.

Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara, Del Councilmember Dwight Worden, and the League of Women Voters of California supported the “Yes on A” campaign.  Both the San Diego County Democratic and Republican parties opposed the measure, according to Ballotpedia.

A “yes” vote on the measure would keep the General Plan amendments increasing residential density in semi-rural and rural areas requiring voter approval and designations of new Specific Plan Areas would be prohibited until 2039.

A “no” vote allows the Board of Supervisors to approve a General Plan amendment and does not require voter approval. It also means the General Plan may contain new land-use designations for Specific Plan Areas.

Measure B, which would allow the Newland Sierra development to move forward, was soundly defeated, 58%-42%. Newland Sierra is a proposal for 2,135 homes, a school, 81,000 square feet of retail, 36 acres of parks and 1,209 acres of open space.