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By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – With Supervisor Dianne Jacob retiring due to term limits after 25 years, the race to fill her seat is one of the most important elections in years for voters in the 2nd district including East County. Two candidates, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus and former State Senator Joel Anderson are in the November runoff.  

On Monday, September 21 at 7 p.m., East County Magazine will host a candidate forum via Zoom with both Vaus and Anderson on the hottest issues in our region including wildfire protection, racial justice and public safety, the COVID-19 pandemic, housing and land use issues, homelessness, and more. Watch the livestream at and send your questions in advance to!  This is your opportunity to learn more about the leaders seeking to represent you.

Video will also be posted later on our news site and audio will be aired later on KNSJ radio. Below is more information on each candidate:

STEVE VAUS is the Mayor of Poway and Chair of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).  He’s also headed up committed on Poway’s budget, a community leadership institute, and a substance abuse task force.  He also owns a production company and is a Grammy Award-winning recording artist producing the annual Carols by Candlelight concert to rise money for charities helping children in need. He and his wife had four children and five grandchildren.

“My priorities as East County’s Supervisor will be the same as my priorities as Mayor: keeping us safe from crime and fire, maintaining infrastructure, protecting and expanding open space, encouraging development of new housing, and being accessible,” he says.  Vaus is endorsed by dozens of local officials including Supervisor Dianne Jacob, as well as by Cal Fire firefighters and law enforcement organizations across our region. 

JOEL ANDERSON  Joel Anderson has served as State Senator and State Assemblyman representing East County for more than a decade. He previously served on the Padre Dam Municipal  Water District board. He was named legislator of the year from the Small Business Association, Lakeside Chamber of Commerce and veterans’ groups.  He also had a 100% rating from the California Taxpayers Association.

“I believe our children and grandchildren deserve the same benefits we enjoyed growing up in San Diego County. That's why I will work to improve our roads, support attainable housing, and promote career opportunities. If our family members can find housing and work, maybe we won't have to travel to Phoenix to visit our grandchildren,” he says. 

We thank the Facebook Journalism Project for funding to support our virtual candidate forum series during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Miriam Raftery, editor and founder of East County Magazine, has over 35 years of journalism experience. She has won more than 350 journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, San Diego Press Club, and the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Her honors include the Sol Price Award for responsible journalism and three James Julian awards for public interest reporting from SPJ’s San Diego chapter. She has received top honors for investigative journalism, multicultural reporting, coverage of immigrant and refugee issues, politics, breaking news and more. Thousands of her articles have appeared in national and regional publications.

East County Magazine gratefully acknowledges the Facebook Journalism Project for its COVID-19 Relief Fund grant to support our local news reporting including impacts on vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more: #FacebookJournalismProject and

You can donate to support our local journalism efforts during the pandemic at

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Steve Anderson is pro-bullying

Just in case you have children, check out this video in which Anderson favors bullying transgender teens with a typical "reverse discrimination" argument. ( Anderson is also well known for his sexual harassment incident in Sacramento. He also supported dumping sex offenders in the back country with prop 83. So there is a lot of hypocrisy there. Both candidates are Republicans, but Vaus has a clean record, has demonstrated personal decency, and has a history of good public service and real concern for local issues. I'm a back county guy, I'll vote Vaus for the coyboy hat ethics over the Sacramento suit "ethics."