By Miriam Raftery
October 11, 2020 (La Mesa – El Cajon) – Republican Jim Stieringer, who is running for the Grossmont Union High School District’s Area 2 seat, has sent a deceptive mailer to some voters in La Mesa, El Cajon, Mt. Helix and Casa de Oro. It reads, “East County Voters – Let’s support our progressive team!” The flyer includes photos of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, as well as Democratic Congressional candidates Ammar Campa-Najjar and Sara Jacobs, Democratic Assemblymember Shirley Weber, and Stieringer.
There are three candidates in the race. Although this is officially a nonpartisan race and party affiliations do not appear on the ballot, both major parties have made endorsements. Elva Salinas, the incumbent and a community college professor, is the only candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party as well as the teacher’s union. The other two candidates, Stieringer and Justin Slagle, have both been long-serving Republicans but only Slagle is endorsed by the GOP.
Stieringer also refers to himself as the “high school district’s newest member” on the flip side of the mailer. He fails to mention that he lost reelection as a GUHSD trustee to Salinas in 2016 when the district shifted from at-large elections to trustee districts.
Area 2 includes a substantially higher Democratic registration than the district at large. Stieringer is a familiar name to many, since he previously served on the Grossmont Healthcare District board and the La Mesa City Council. The mailer states that was paid for by the James Stieringer for School Board 2020 campaign.
Slagle was formerly a trustee on the Cajon Valley Union School District board, which has had numerous controversies. He teaches in the Del Mar school district, according to his bio and the district website. He is also an award-winning theater instructor at Tri-City Christian school in Vista, according to the school district's website.
You can read more about the candidates here: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/grossmont-union-high-school-trustee-election-area-2