SAN DIEGO - For the first time in 12 years, there will be a runoff election in a San Diego County supervisor's race.
Incumbent Bill Horn was forced into a November runoff, and with ballots still being tallied, Ron Roberts was hovering right around the 50 percent mark needed for an outright win.
Horn received 46 percent of the vote in District 5, with Vista City Councilman Steve Gronke in second place with 21 percent.
Horn will take on Gronke in the general election. He could have held his seat if he'd gained 50 percent plus one vote.
''This is exactly what I hoped would happen -- that we'd keep (Horn) under 50 percent,'' Gronke said.
North County residents are ''dissatisfied with the way he presents himself to the public,'' Gronke said.
The current five supervisors have been on the board together since 1995. Horn was the last supervisor to have to defend his seat in a November runoff, in 1998.
“I faced a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, and a farmer, and still received twice as many votes as the runner up," said Horn after the results were posted. "The public employee labor unions dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into this election to try to take control of the Board of Supervisors and now they have their surrogate in the runoff. I appreciate all the support from Fallbrook and come November, I think North County voters will show us all that they are too smart to fall for big labor’s tricks.”
In District 1, which covers much of the city of San Diego, incumbent Ron Roberts was barely under 50 percent of the vote.
Stephen Whitburn, the head of communications of the American Red Cross in San Diego, recorded 20 percent and San Diego Unified School District trustee Shelia Jackson 17 percent.
Whitburn and Jackson both said the supervisors were doing a poor job funding county services in a down economy.
ESCONDIDO - In North County's District 5, incumbent Bill Horn had 46 percent of the vote. Steve Gronke trailed with 21 percent, Tom Bumgardner collected 15 percent and John Van Doorn had 13 percent. Opponents of both incumbents claimed they were out of touch with the county's electorate after being in office since the mid-1990s. Whitburn, the head of communications for the American Red Cross in San Diego, and Jackson, a San Diego Unified School District Trustee, both said the supervisors were doing a poor job of funding county services in the down economy. Gronke complained that Horn is too close with developers. Horn was a backer of the controversial Merriam Mountains project, a 2,700-home development off Interstate 15 that was rejected by his colleagues. Horn was the last supervisor to have defend his seat in a November runoff, in 1998. Fallbrook/Bonsall supporters of Horn site his support of local nonprofits and community projects as a reason to keep him in office.