Steve Vaus

JOEL ANDERSON DECLARES VICTORY IN TIGHT SUPERVISOR RACE AFTER TALLY IS CERTIFIED

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo by Chris Stone: Republican Joel Anderson returns to office after stints in the state Legislature.

December 7, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Joel Anderson declared victory over fellow Republican Steve Vaus on Thursday as the San Diego County Registrar of Voters certified results of their close county Board of Supervisors race.

“I am grateful to have earned the trust and support of the residents of East County to represent them on the county Board of Supervisors,” said District 2 winner Anderson. “I also want to recognize Supervisor Dianne Jacob, the longest-serving county supervisor, for 28 years of dedicated service to East County.”

Results stayed the same as recent days — with Anderson edging Poway Mayor Vaus by 282 votes of nearly 290,000 cast.

ANDERSON WIDENS LEAD, SANTEE COUNCIL RACE STILL CLOSE

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - With the latest update from the Registrar of Voters, former State Senator Joel Anderson has increased his lead over Poway Mayor Steve Vaus in the second supervisorial district to 259 votes, out of nearly 290,000 votes cast.  Anderson has 50.04% and Vaus 49.96%, a difference of less than one-tenth of one percent.  But with only 10,000 ballots remaining to be counted countywide, with perhaps only around 2,000 ballots per supervisorial district, hopes of Vaus to regain the lead are rapidly diminishing.

Both Anderson and Vaus are Republicans, though Anderson was endorsed by the County Republican Party. Vaus won endorsement of Dianne Jacob, who is retiring as Supervisor after over 25 years due to term limits. If Anderson's lead holds, he may well owe his election to party slate mailers backing his candidacy. Both candidates were well funded and blitzed votes with a barrage of mailers of their own, some touting their experience and issue positions, others focused on negative messaging regarding their opponents.

The open city council seat in Santee is even closer, with only five votes separating the two candidates. Dustin Trotter, a contractor, leads Samantha Hurst, a research and teacher, by 3,911 to 3,906 votes. Should the race end in a tie, state law would require that it be decided by random draw. 

UPDATES ON CLOSE RACES

November 13, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- As of the Thursday night updates posted by the county Registrar of Voters, East County has several tight races.  The closest is in Santee, where city council candidates Dustin Trotter and Samantha Hurst are separated by just four votes, with Trotter taking the lead after the two were actually tied earlier in the week.

Hurst, a UCSD researcher and instructor, opposes the controversial Fanita Ranch development and supports racial tolerance.  Trotter is a building contractor who has drawn controversy over his involvement with Defend East County, a group recently banned from Facebook, and Working Class Patriot, a group that advocated for people to “pray for peace and prepare for war” on Election Day.

HOW ARE TIES OR CLOSE LOCAL RACES RESOLVED?

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2020 (San Diego) – With Santee’s City Council candidates separated by just two votes and Supervisor candidates Joel Anderson and Steve Vaus just seven votes apart, readers have been asking questions.  What happens if there is a tie in a local election?  (One on social media suggested determining the winner via a duel.)

Does a close race trigger a recount?  Have any local races changed when a recount was done? When will the counting be done?

ECM reached out to San Diego Registrar of Voters Michael Vu to get answers to these and other questions.

ANDERSON TAKES RAZOR-THIN LEAD OVER VAUS IN SUPERVISOR RACE; SANTEE COUNCIL CANDIDATES ALSO IN NEAR TIE

Update November 22, 2020:  Joel Anderson now leads by 284 votes over Steve Vaus, with 7,500 ballots left to be tallied countywide.  In Santee, Dustin Trotter is ahead by just seven votes over Samantha Hurst.

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 11, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – With 33,000 votes countywide remaining to be tallied, but far fewer ballots left in individual races, the latest update from the San Diego County Registrar of Voters shows several major contests in East County are still too close to call.

In the important race to fill retiring Supervisor Dianne Jacob’ district 2 seat, former State Senator Joel Anderson has taken a scant seven-vote lead over Poway Mayor Steve Vaus. 

Santee’s City Council race to fill an open seat, meanwhile, has Samantha “Samm” Hurst retaking the lead over Dustin Trotter by just two votes after being tied just one day earlier.

VAUS AND ANDERSON IN TIGHT RACE FOR SUPERVISOR DISTRICT 2

By Henri Migala

Photo: Steve Vaus (left), Joel Anderson (right)

November 3, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - County Supervisor District 2 candidates Steve Vaus and Joel Anderson are virtually tied at the latest update provided by the San Diego Registrar of Voters unofficial election results.

At the latest update, posted at 10:26 p.m., Steve Vaus held a slight lead with 50.94% of the votes, and Joel Anderson having 49.06%.

Vaus and Anderson are running to fill the seat being vacated by Dianne Jacob due to term limits.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors controls a $5 billion budget and makes decision over a wide variety of social service programs, and on issues affecting your health and safety. Four billion, or 80%, of that budget is related to state and federal programs the county is required to administer, and one billion, or 20%, can be used for the Supervisors to establish their priorities.  Most of the $1 billion comes from local property taxes, so it is important for local citizens to know the supervisors’ priorities.

READER'S EDITORIAL: STEVE VAUS WILL PUT COMMUNITIES FIRST AS YOUR NEXT SUPERVISOR

By Dianne Jacob, Supervisor, Second District

I’ve had the honor of serving the people of the Second District for 28 years.  For seven terms, voters trusted that I would fight on their behalf, make County government work for them and provide substantial improvements to their community.  I’m asking you to place your trust in me one last time by supporting Mayor Steve Vaus for my seat. 

This election is a critical decision for East County.  It’s a decision based on character, record of service and the future of the District, and Steve is the clear choice on all three.  As Mayor, Steve has consistently been accessible and responsive to his constituents and has made Poway a model city for maintaining roads and infrastructure, improving parks and trails, taking care of seniors and families and protecting public safety.

HIGHLIGHTS AND QUOTES FROM COUNTY SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES DISTRICT 2 FORUM

 

By Henri Migala

Photos:  Candidates Joel Anderson and Steve Vaus

 

October 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - On September 21, East County Magazine hosted a web-based candidate forum for San Diego County's District 2 Supervisor race. Poway Mayor Steve Vaus and former State Senator Joel Anderson joined ECM editor Miriam Raftery, who moderated the event, to share their views on a variety of some of the most pressing issues affecting East County. They are running to fill the seat being vacated by Dianne Jacob due to term limits.

Below are highlights and a detailed analysis of the candidates' statements made during the candidate forum, as well as their bios. 

You can view video of the complete candidate forum at: https://youtu.be/o4KtvVquSV4

 ECM was able to host this forum thanks to funds provided by the Facebook Journalism Project Grant generously awarded to ECM.  A map and description of the current district, as well as how it will change with redistricting, is available below the forum highlights on issues including COVID-19, wildfires, homelessness, housing, racial injustice/public safety, county jail deaths, transportation/greenhouse gas reduction, revitalization of East County, cannabis, budget priorities, fiscal reserves, ambulance response times, proposed sand mines, community outreach and more.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors controls a $5 billion budget and makes decision over a wide variety of social service programs, and on issues affecting your health and safety. Four billion, or 80%, of that budget is related to state and federal programs the county is required to administer, and one billion, or 20%, can be used for the Supervisors to establish their priorities.  Most of the $1 billion comes from local property taxes, so it is important for local citizens to know what the supervisors’ priorities are.

 

VIEW VIDEO OF OUR SUPERVISORS CANDIDATE FORUM

 

September 27, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – On September 21, East County Magazine hosted a candidate forum for San Diego County's District 2 Supervisor race. Poway Mayor Steve Vaus and former State Senator Joel Anderson shared their views on hot issues including COVID-19, housing, homelessness, racial justice/public safety, wildfire preparedness and more.

Video is now posted. You can view the full forum video by clicking the image at left, or click here: https://youtu.be/o4KtvVquSV4

The forum, held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was moderated by ECM editor Miriam Raftery and supported by a Facebook Journalism Project grant. Scroll down for details on the candidates. 

ECM TO HOST SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES FORUM MONDAY, SEPT. 21 ON ZOOM; SEND US YOUR QUESTIONS

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.  

POWAY MAYOR VAUS PROPOSES PLAN TO LET FITNESS ACTIVITIES AND WORSHIP SERVICES USE PARKS DURING COVID-SHUTDOWN

 

Update July 15, 2020: The Poway City Council today unanimously approved this plan.

By Miriam Raftery

July 14, 2020 (Poway) –  Poway Mayor Steve Vaus has proposed a “Sharing Outdoor Spaces” plan to “allow local fitness biz & houses of worship to use areas in our parks until indoor restrictions lifted.” Vaus announced the plan on Twitter, which the Poway City Council will vote on tomorrow during an 11:15 a.m. meeting. View agenda.

The action comes after the state on Monday issued a order required all houses of worship, gyms, yoga, dance and other fitness organizations to cease all indoor activities until further notice in order to mitigate the further spread of COVID-19.

“Similar to how we recently assisted Poway restaurants by providing picnic tables, I propose we help houses of worship and fitness-oriented businesses (yoga, Pilates, dance class, gyms, etc.) by providing space for their activities in our parks,” the Mayor’s proposal states, noting that the state has not banned such activities from taking place outdoors. Outdoor activities are considered less risky by health officials since the virus dissipates more quickly in sunshine and since people are not breathing recirculated air.

LISTEN NOW: OUR RADIO SHOWS FOR JANUARY THROUGH APRIL 2020 ARE NOW ONLINE

Our radio shows from January, February, March and April 2020 are now online.  For links to listen plus an index with full list of topics and interviews in each show. Click here or click the "read more" link and scroll down for audio links below the index. (Audio files may take a few moments to load.)  

Our newsmaker interviews included Supervisorial candidates Steve Vaus, Joel Anderson and Kenya Taylor (Vaus and Anderson will run off in November), Congressional candidates Sara Jacobs, Georgette Gomez, and Ammar Campa-Najjar, and Santee mayoral candidate Stephen Houlahan. Our news coverage included the COVID-19 pandemic, shut-downs and relief efforts, andmore.

The East County Magazine Show airs Mondays and Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m. on KNSJ, 89.1 FM.  Our shows rerun on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and Saturdays at 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

Audio: 

COVID-19 BECOMES KEY ISSUE IN EAST COUNTY ELECTIONS

Candidates for Congress, county supervisor, cite voter concern  

By Emmet Pierce

Photos,  top left to lower right:  Darrell Issa, Ammar Campa-Najjar, Georgette Gomez, Sara Jacobs, Joel Anderson and Steve Vaus

 

June 12, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- As East County residents struggle to recover from the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, the pandemic is becoming a key issue in the November election.

ECM spoke with candidates for our region’s top tier races, where three open seats will mean new leadership for the first time in decades in two of our region’s Congressional districts as well as East County’s county supervisorial district.

EAST COUNTY LEADERS TO HOST TOWN HALL TODAY 4 PM ON REOPENING BUSINESSES AND RECREATION AREAS

By Miriam Raftery

May 6, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Supervisor Dianne Jacob will host a virtual town hall today at 4 p.m. along with El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and Poway Mayor Steve Vaus on COVID-19 and the county’s latest measures to reopen businesses and recreation areas. Questions can be submitted in advance to Dianne.jacob@sdcounty.ca.gov.

To attend, click on your web browser or mobile device at https://bit.ly/May6TownHall or listen by phone by calling 415-466-7000. Enter the PIIN: 8155997 followed by #.   For American Sign Language access go to https://bit.ly/2z9FVL.  For those accessing with ASL who want to submit questions, go to https://gvpdkasj.bjn.pt .

Yesterday, Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt a framework to reopen businesses in a safe manner, with Supervisor Jacob sending a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom ask for the county to have “total local control” over reopening decision.  It is unclear whether the Governor will grant such broad discretion. The County has provided a  template for businesses preparing to reopen to review, but it may be updated depending on direction from the state.

YES, YOU CAN EXERCISE YOUR HORSE DURING STAY-HOME ORDER

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons via Bing

April 8, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – After a rural resident told us his horse has been stabled since mid-March to prevent violating COVID-19 stay-home orders for non-essential needs, ECM reached out to San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) Chairman Steve Vaus. Vaus, a horse owner and also mayor of Poway, provided clarification that horseback riding is legal – provided social distancing is maintained.

“Horseback activity would fall under the agricultural exemption,” Vaus stated, but added that riders should not ride in groups with anyone other than their household members.  Don’t congregate before or after rides with friends at parking lots or elsewhere. “Take a ride and go home,” he advised.

POWAY CITY COUNCIL APPROVES COMMERCIAL EVICTION MORATORIUM, OPEN SPACE ACQUSITION, AND LOANS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

By Miriam Raftery

April 8, 2020 (Poway) – “We looked different, but got things done as usual,” Poway Mayor Steve Vaus posted on Facebook, with a masked photo, following last night’s city council meeting. The Council met in Council chambers, but without an audience. To comply with social distancing requirements, the public could watch live online, call in or send comments in ahead of time.

By a unanimous vote, the Council approved a moratorium on commercial evictions due to COVID-19 impacts until May 31, provided the commercial tenant notifies the landlord promptly. The documentation may be as simple as a statement signed under penalty of perjury stating that the tenant has suffered financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency. Tenants would still owe the rent after May 31, unless they negotiate long-term repayment or other arrangements with their landlord.

JOEL ANDERSON AND STEVE VAUS ADVANCE TO NOVEMBER RUN OFF TO FILL DIANNE JACOB'S SEAT ON SUPERVISORS IN DISTRICT 2

By Jonathan Goetz

Photos by Miriam Raftery:  Steve Vaus and Joel Anderson

March 4, 2020 (San Diego's East County) – Two Republicans will face off against each other in the 2nd Supervisorial District, after Democrat Kenya Taylor failed to make the run-off.

Former State Senator Joel Anderson says fixing roads and providing attainable housing for the next generation are his top priorities. He touts his legislative experience working across the aisle on many bills and says he’ll lobby Sacramento for more funds for the region.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, who is also president of SANDAG, wants to focus on public safety, infrastructure, building housing and preserving open spaces, touting his record in Poway of having more open space than any other city in the county. He urges voters to look at his record in Poway, which ranks high in public safety, open spaces, and meeting housing needs.

ANDERSON GOES ON ATTACK IN MAILERS TO SMEAR OPPONENTS

By Miriam Raftery
 
February 24, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Negative and in some cases, deceptive mailers paid for by Joel Anderson For Supervisor 2020 have landed in voters’ mailboxes. One targets his opponent, Steve Vaus, claiming Vaus is “funded by never Trumpers” and displaying photos of liberals Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Anderson, in other mailings, touts his own loyalty to Trump.
 
Another mailer for Anderson lists Vaus’ occupation as “career politician.” It fails to mention that Anderson served in the state Assembly, state Senate, and Padre Dam Municipal Water District board -with more years as a “career politician” than Vaus.
 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEWS WITH CANDIDATES FOR SUPERVISOR SPEAKING OUT ON LAND USE ISSUES, FIRE SAFETY, HOMELESSNESS AND MORE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Update: Brian Sesko, the fourth candidate in this race, has now completed an interview with ECM after the deadline for this article (Due to an email issue he said he did not receive the original invitation.)  You can hear his radio interview and read hiighlights at https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/hear-our-interview-brian-sesko-lakesi....

February 20, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- East County Magazine sat down for in-depth interviews with three of the four candidates running for County Supervisor in District 2 to replace Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who is retiring due to term limits.  Full audio recordings are now posted below, along with highlights of candidates' thoughtful responses.

The candidates showed sharp differences on issues including protecting open spaces, housing, energy development, sand mining, homelessness, public safety, fire protection, and more.

  • Former State Senator Joel Anderson says fixing roads and providing attainable housing for the next generation are his top priorities. He touts his legislative experience working across the aisle on many bills and says he’ll lobby Sacramento for more funds for the region.
  • Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, who is also president of SANDAG, wants to focus on public safety, infrastructure, building housing and preserving open spaces. He urges voters to look at his record in Poway, which ranks high in public safety, open spaces, and meeting housing needs.
  • Kenya Taylor, an expert in health and human services who has worked on programs across the backcountry, wants to put public safety and health concerns first, plus create economic opportunities and rebuild the middle class. She opposes sprawl development and voices concerns over projects such as sand mines and wind farms close to homes.

(A fourth candidate, Brian Sesko, a homebuilder and chair of Lakeside's Community Planning Group, did not respond to our interview request, but did participate in an earlier candidate forum which ECM covered; you can read about that forum and view video by clicking this link.)

Scroll down for highlights, in alphabetical order by candidates under each topic, by clicking "read more"  or click the audio links to our full 45-50 minute interviews originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM.

Audio: 

HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS AND HEALTH AMONG HOT TOPICS AT SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES' FORUM

View video of full debate here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daR2Gmad0g4





By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Candidates Joel Anderson, Brian Sesko, Kenya Taylor, and Steve Vaus

February 6, 2020 (La Mesa) – Four candidates running to represent East County in the San Diego County Supervisors 2nd district seat participated in a lively forum on Jan. 29 at Murdock Elementary, hosted by the Grossmont Mount Helix Improvement Association and sponsored by East County Magazine.

Candidates fielded a broad range of in-depth questions provided by the public during the forum moderated by the League of Women Voters before a capacity crowd. 

The four candidates are Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, former State Senator Joel Anderson, behavioral health consultant Kenya Taylor, and homebuilder/cattle rancher  Brian Sesko.  They are running to fill the vacancy soon to be left when long-serving Supervisor Dianne Jacob leaves office next January due to term limits.

ALL 4 SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES IN DISTRICT 2 WILL APPEAR AT FORUM JAN. 29 IN LA MESA HOSTED BY GMIA AND EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE

Residents encouraged to submit questions for candidates 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left to right: Joel Anderson, Kenya Taylor, Brian Sesko, and Steve Vaus.

January 15, 2020 (La Mesa) -- A forum for candidates seeking to fill the District 2 county supervisor seat will be held Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Murdock Elementary School (4354 Conrad. Drive, La Mesa). The forum is sponsored by the Grossmont-Mt. Helix Improvement Association, along with East County Magazine.

All four candidates running for the East County seat have indicated they will attend. The candidates are former state Senator Joel Anderson, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, Kenya Taylor, co-chair of the Southeastern Live Well Center Health Workgroup, and Brian Sesko, Broker and General Contractor. Click their names to view their websites and learn more about their stances and priorities.

The candidates are running to succeed County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who is leaving office after 28 years because of term limits.

Residents are encouraged to submit questions for consideration in advance to editor@eastcountymagazine.org or to yourGMIAneighbor@gmail.com.  Written questions will also be accepted at the forum. 

CAL FIRE FIREFIGHTERS ENDORSE STEVE VAUS FOR SUPERVISOR IN DISTRICT 2



 

East County News Service

November 23, 2019 (San Diego) – The CAL FIRE firefighters union has endorsed Poway Mayor Steve Vaus for Supervisor.

“We recognize that Steve has a proven ability to bring people together to get things done. Most importantly, he truly cares about helping the hard-working men and women protecting our community,” says Patrick Walker, Vice President of CAL FIRE Local #2881 10th district.

RACE TO FILL DIANNE JACOB’S SUPERVISORIAL SEAT TAKES SHAPE

By Miriam Raftery

Photos (top left to bottom right):  Steve Vaus, Joel Anderson, Tom Lemmon, and Kenya Taylor

Update:  Lemmon has opted not to run.

May 30, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – Stepping down due to term limits in 2020 after 28 years, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob leaves some big shoes to fill.  Four candidates, two Republicans and two Democrats, have thus far announced plans to run for the 2nd Supervisorial district, which covers 2,000 square miles encompassing the eastern two-thirds of the county.

The contenders for the ostensibly nonpartisan race are Poway Mayor Steve Vaus and former State Senator Joel Anderson, both Republicans. Democrats Tom Lemmon, a labor leader who heads up the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council, and Kenya Taylor, a mental health counselor and NAACP board member, are also in the running.

Below are highlights of their backgrounds and goals if elected, as well as analysis of the challenges each may need to overcome to win the race.

POWAY COUNCIL AND SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES FORUM OCT. 24

October 8, 2012 (Poway)—The Poway Chamber of Commerce and the Green Valley Civic Association will sponsor a Candidates Forum on Wednesday, October 24, 2012. The forum will be held at Painted Rock Elementary School in the Multi-Purpose Room, located at 16711 Martincoit Road Poway, CA 92064.