SAN DIEGO – Poway Mayor Steve Vaus narrowly leads former state lawmaker Joel Anderson in a tight race to replace longtime Supervisor Dianne Jacob on the county’s board, according to early returns.
As of Wednesday morning, Vaus had 50.3% of the vote, while Anderson had 49.7%.
The two Republicans are vying to take over for the termed-out Jacob, also a Republican, in the district that 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.
He has campaigned on his ability to work in a bipartisan fashion on issues ranging from lawsuit reform to electronic privacy.
Anderson’s platform focuses on improved public and fire safety, increased mental health/human services and housing, strengthening local businesses and more road repairs.
“I believe our children and grandchildren deserve the same benefits we enjoyed growing up in San Diego County,” Anderson said during a recent forum sponsored by East County Magazine. “If our family members can find housing and work, maybe we won’t have to travel to Phoenix to visit our grandchildren.”
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.
If elected, Vaus said he will focus on infrastructure, more housing development, public/fire safety, and protecting and expanding open space.
“Being a supervisor and being a mayor, there’s an awful lot in common and I’ve got a track record of getting things done,” Vaus told KPBS earlier this year.
The San Diego County Republican Party — along with former Gov. Pete Wilson, several state lawmakers and various school district officials — have endorsed Anderson. Vaus has the endorsement of Supervisors Cox, Kristin Gaspar, Jacob and Jim Desmond, along with other elected leaders and civic groups.