Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Tom Ferrall
Staff Writer 

Candidates give closing arguments


Last updated 10/26/2018 at 8:30am

Jim Desmond, Michelle Gomez, Alan Geraci, Marie Waldron, Jeff Griffith, Brian Jones.

The Village News – as a follow-up to a previous article – recently contacted candidates in selected races to give them one more chance to communicate with readers prior to the Nov. 6 general election.

A question was emailed to the finalists in the races for Board of Supervisors – District 5, U.S. Representative – 50th District, State Assembly – 75th District, and State Senate – District 38. The Villages News received responses from all of the candidates contacted with the exception of Duncan Hunter and Ammar Campa-Najjar, the two finalists for U.S. Representative – 50th District.

Last spring, nearly all of the candidates responded to questions for a pre-primary election article that ran in the May 24 issue of the Village News. In that article candidates looking to represent North County residents in various offices were asked to state their credentials, top priorities and what they wanted people to know about them. To view the story, visit

The results of the June 5 primary whittled the field down to Jim Desmond and Michelle Gomez for Board of Supervisors – District 5, Alan Geraci and Marie Waldron for State Assemblymember ¬75th District, and Jeff Griffin and Brian Jones for State Senator – District 38.

The Village News asked all of the finalists in the aforementioned races the same question, which was: "We're in the final days of the campaign and it's time for closing arguments. Why should voters select you – and not your opponent – when they go to the polls Nov. 6?" The candidates' answers follow.

Board of Supervisors – District 5

Jim Desmond, Mayor of San Marcos

"I am running to be North County's representative on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to give back to the community what I've learned as the Mayor of San Marcos for 12 years, as a Navy veteran with an electrical engineering degree from SDSU and a pilot and captain for Delta Air Lines.

Throughout my career I've developed leadership skills that include shared input and responsibilities that come to common-sense practical solutions. I believe this approach will serve me well as your supervisor.

My experience and leadership skills also define the difference between me and my opponent. While I have spent the last 12 years ensuring that the City of San Marcos has homes across all price ranges and grows in a sensible way that maintains the quality of life our residents demand, my opponent has no comparable experience in leading on significant public policy issues. I have always balanced the budget and maintained a strong fiscal reserve in our city to ensure we have protection in emergencies. My opponent has never had to balance a budget.

The most critical issues facing North County, the lack of affordable workforce housing and traffic congestion, require that thoughtful, action-oriented people work together to address the problems. I will bring my experience and leadership skills to the county board of supervisors and work hard to represent North County as the supervisor from District 5. I ask for your support this election."

Michelle Gomez, Commissioner/Legislative Analyst

"Perhaps the biggest difference between my opponent and I is our stance on development.

While Mayor Desmond has been an enthusiastic proponent for growth in San Marcos, his commitment to ensuring the infrastructure to support it has been subpar. For all the development, San Marcos remains out of compliance with state-mandated affordable housing quotas and lacks any definable town center. Those are just two examples of how my opponent's favoritism toward big developers has failed to yield positive outcomes for the community.

As an Oceanside Housing Commissioner, I champion smart growth solutions with a focus on increasing affordable housing opportunities. We should abide by our county's General Plan to prevent urban sprawl by directing growth to areas that offer access to mass transit, schools, hospitals, fire stations and other services and infrastructure to meet the needs of incoming residents.

The outcome of this race will decide the direction of our county for many years to come. Will we allow our county to become a second LA (with the headaches to match)? Or will we vote to protect San Diego County's character and ensure it remains a great place to raise our families. Where our children and aging parents aren't priced out by luxury development none of us want.

Development, however, is just one issue of many facing our county that Desmond and I differ on. I encourage voters to learn more about both campaigns and make their choice based on which candidate speaks to their own personal goals and values."

State Assembly – 75th District

Alan Geraci, Consumer Advocate/Attorney

"These are perilous times. California will lead the nation on key policies. This is the moment to correct the course of failed leadership and to bring new representation to our communities of northeast San Diego and southwest Riverside.

We have the opportunity to bring clean energy jobs to our district while fighting the scourge of wildfires and extreme weather. We have the opportunity to implement a "smart growth plan" to encourage development of affordable housing while tackling issues of traffic and homelessness. We have the opportunity for access to healthcare to all Californians while driving down healthcare and prescription costs.

But to do these things for our communities and more, we must vote out a career politician who votes in favor of the special interests who buy her votes, and elect Alan Geraci for State Assembly, a father, youth sports coach, and consumer advocate and bring all of us a fair deal."

Marie Waldron, Incumbent

"I am not going to discuss my opponent as that is not how we heal the civil discourse in politics. As your Assemblymember, I support our hardworking families, seniors, veterans and businesses, fighting taxes, saving Prop13, authoring legislation to expand/fix our roads for congestion relief. I support increasing access to healthcare, including pre-existing conditions, mental health and new innovations.

Integrity: My retail/manufacturing business has been successful for 25 years and I obtained $15 million in the current state budget to support career technical job training, giving people job skills for the modern workforce. 'Breadwinner jobs' is the pathway to success and breaking barriers.

Proven record: As a city councilmember in Escondido for 14 years, I supported a balanced budget, water affordability and protecting individual liberties. I have experience as a business owner, local government and working across party lines to get things done at the state. My legislation increases voter integrity, moves traffic through traffic signal synchronization, water reliability and public safety support help our district.

I care: As a mom, I'm fiercely concerned about our children's future and their safety. I stand to protect our traditional family values and our veterans for benefits, housing and healthcare.

Active over 25 years in our community and church, I support many local civic organizations, was a Little League parent volunteer and am a member of the YMCA. My husband and I worked to create the successful 'Cruisin' Grand' hotrod event in downtown Escondido for the past 19 years."

State Senate – District 38

Jeff Griffith, Fire Captain/Paramedic

"I am running for office because my priorities more closely match the priorities and needs of the 38th state senate district. I also possess the energy and commitment to focus on these goals. A major priority is quality healthcare that covers pre-existing conditions and checks the cost of pharmaceutical drugs.

I have fought to secure quality healthcare both as a firefighter/paramedic and also as a twice-elected member of the Palomar Health Board. My opponent is a member of an organization that will eliminate coverage for pre-existing conditions and, therefore, increase the cost of health insurance for everyone.

My second priority concerns the availability of jobs paying middle-class wages. To meet this goal, I support education, especially vocational education, apprenticeships, and partnerships with local businesses. My opponent does not support educational innovation or appropriate funding.

Last of all, my opponent is a career politician who lacks any interest in new ideas that will keep us safe as a changing climate causes a longer fire season. I am committed to actions that will result in greater fire protection for all residents. New tactics, technology and better infrastructure will assist firefighters and local communities in keeping residents safe. For these reasons, I ask that you vote for me, Jeff Griffith for State Senate. As a First Responder, I will be responsive to you. That's my civic duty; it's personal for me, not political."

Brian Jones, Appointed Councilmember/Businessman

"I am the only candidate in this race with a proven record of common sense leadership, lifelong ties to the community, and the support of leaders we trust.

I grew up in this district, raised my family here, and have been committed to working hard to improve the quality of life for all who live in our region.

As a Santee City Councilmember, I've worked to cut red tape, keep taxes low, and support pro-business policies. As a result, Santee city enjoys low crime, fantastic parks and recreation services, thriving businesses, and a family-friendly atmosphere.

During my time in the Assembly, I received lifetime 'A' ratings from the National Federation of Independent Business, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, and the California Taxpayers Association.

I also authored critical new laws that have made it easier for businesses to produce products that are "Made in America," supported the craft beverage industry, and expanded access to recreation for youth and those with disabilities. In total, I had 19 bills signed into law by the Governor.

I am proud to be 'Law Enforcement's Choice' for state senate, and I've been a strong advocate for protecting public safety, including opposing policies that would lead to the early release of criminals.

Like you, I love our community and will continue to fight against Sacramento's dysfunction and misplaced priorities. I greatly appreciate your vote."


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