San Diego County Board of Supervisors balance of power now Democrat controlled
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Nora Vargas has claimed victory in her bid to replace Greg Cox as San Diego County Supervisor for District 1, with a 54.99% to 45.01% lead over her opponent, state Sen. Ben Hueso.
There are still 370,000 ballots left to be counted, San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu announced, but the county will not release additional results until Thursday at 5 p.m.
Vargas leads Hueso by 17,000 votes, so the results aren’t official, but Cox reached out to congratulate Vargas, a health executive.
“This morning I called @NoraVargasSD to congratulate her on a hard earned victory,” Cox wrote on Twitter. “She’s going to make a great Supervisor! We have already scheduled a meeting to begin working on a smooth transition so that we can continue serving the people of District 1.”
Both Vargas and Hueso are Democrats. Hueso, a former San Diego City Council member, has represented Senate District 40 since 2013.
Vargas is a vice president of Planned Parenthood of the Southwest and also serves on the Southwest Community College board.
“I’m honored to be able to serve the people of District 1 and engage our communities, so together we can truly build healthier and stronger communities,” Vargas replied on the social media app.
Cox and District 2’s Dianne Jacob are both termed out, meaning the board will have at least two new members.
Cox, a Republican, has been in office since 1995, representing the district that includes National City, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and Coronado, along with 19 communities within the city of San Diego, including Barrio Logan and Sunset Cliffs. It also features the unincorporated communities of Bonita, East Otay Mesa, Lincoln Acres and Sunnyside.
The District 2 race, meanwhile, had Poway Mayor Steve Vaus with a narrow 50.3% to 49.7% lead over fellow Republican and former state lawmaker Joel Anderson.
The termed-out Jacob, also a Republican, joined the Board of Supervisors in 1993. The district is home to the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Poway and Santee; and the San Diego communities of Allied Gardens, College Area, Del Cerro, Grantville, Navajo, Rolando and San Carlos.
It also covers East County’s unincorporated communities of Alpine, Campo, Julian, Ramona, Rancho San Diego and Spring Valley. Anderson represented the East County in the Assembly from 2007 to 2009, and in the state Senate from 2010 to 2018.
A Grammy-winning recording artist, Vaus first served on the Poway City Council before winning the 2014 mayoral race. His leadership during the deadly 2019 shooting at a Poway synagogue received national attention.
It was not immediately clear how many votes still need to be tallied in the District 1 and District 2 races.
In the District 3 race, challenger Terra Lawson-Remer — a Democrat who served as a senior adviser in the Obama administration — defeated incumbent Kristin Gaspar, a Republican elected in 2016.
She has not issued an official statement, but did thank her supporters as results rolled in Tuesday night.
“It’s early, but I am so grateful for the support of so many thousands of San Diegans who want leadership in our county that reflects the vision and values we share,” she said on Twitter.
The coastal/North County district includes a dozen neighborhoods within the city of San Diego, including Carmel Mountain Ranch, Mira Mesa and Rancho Penasquitos. It also includes the cities of Del Mar, Encinitas, Escondido and Solana Beach.
A former Encinitas mayor and City Council member, Gaspar is also a small business owner.
Lawson-Remer has never held public office, but was endorsed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Rep. Scott Peters and county Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.
Gaspar has not conceded.