ENCINITAS — Coming this fall, Encinitas residents will vote for three elected positions — mayor and city councilmembers in Districts 1 and 2 — and a ballot initiative authorizing commercial cannabis sales, cultivation and manufacturing in Encinitas.
Campaigns for all three positions kicked off as early as this spring, though candidate filing period did not begin until July 13 and extends until August 7, attracting challengers seeking to unseat current elected officials.
After the August 7th filing deadline, the Coast News will produce in-depth coverage of each individual race and candidate, focusing on each person’s intended policies and examining their take on current Encinitas issues.
This is a basic rundown of candidates and the ballot initiative as of July 15.
Office of Mayor
First elected in 2016, Catherine Blakespear is running for her third term. Blakespear is also the vice-chair of the SANDAG Board of Directors and a member of San Diego’s Airport Authority. Prior to serving as Encinitas’ Mayor, Blakespear was elected to City Council in 2014 and served as the Cardiff representative on the Encinitas Traffic & Public Safety Commission. She holds both a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University in Chicago, and a law degree from the University of Utah. Blakespear is a fourth-generation Encinitas resident.
Presently the co-publisher of The Encinitas Current, a local newsletter covering current events, stories, and politics, Thunder has served on the Board of Directors of Cardiff Soccer League, worked as a software developer, running a private consulting business, as well as managed a local medical office. Thunder holds a Bachelors Degree in Applied Mathematics from San Diego University. Thunder has lived in Encinitas with her family for 35 years.
Currently, Kranz is running for re-election to City Council, having been first elected in 2012. Kranz moved to Encinitas as a child in 1960, serving in the Army National Guard after attending college at Palomar and Cal Poly. Kranz works in the graphic arts with photography and printing sales.
Alex Riley, current Encinitas resident, served as a Lifeguard for the City of San Diego for 19 years, working as a front-line supervisor with a variety of federal and state agencies to ensure public safety. Riley also served as a member of Teamsters Local 911, representing lifeguards in the development of new policies and participating in labor contracts and budget negotiations.
Kellie Hinze is the current Deputy Mayor, running to represent District 2. Hinze was previously appointed to City Council in 2018 following a vacancy left by now State Assembly Person Tasha Boerner Horvath. A former elementary school teacher, community advocate and third-generation Encinitas resident, Hinze also served as Executive Director of Leucadia 101 Main Street. She holds Bachelors Degrees in Education as well as Global and International Studies from U.C. Santa Cruz and U.C. Santa Barbara.
Susan Turney is running for first term in City Council, a 20-year resident of Encinitas and currently consulting with Hewlett-Packard and a La Jolla based tech company. Turney was a lead member of the Proposition A campaign and is a board member of Spotlight on Coastal Corruption. She holds a Bachelors Degree in English and a Masters Degree in Business Administration.
Citizens Initiative Ballot Measure
Garnering enough signatures in 2018 to appear on the November 2020 ballot, the citizen-led cannabis initiative would allow for the sale of marijuana at four retail locations as well as allow the commercial cultivation, manufacturing and distribution in Encinitas.