Election 2010: Board of Supervisors Races - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Election 2010: Board of Supervisors Races

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two San Diego County supervisors were looking forward to new terms Wednesday.

Supervisor Ron Roberts defeated American Red Cross spokesman Stephen Whitburn in the county's District 4, while Supervisor Bill Horn bested opponent Steve Gronke, a member of the Vista City Council.

Horn and Roberts - who sit on the board with Greg Cox, Dianne Jacob and Pam Slater-Price - are the first supervisors in 12 years to be forced into a runoff election. The board has remained unchanged since 1995.

Both incumbents pointed to the fiscal discipline exhibited by the board and county administrators, noting that while San Diego County has reduced spending and laid off employees during the economic downturn, the cuts have not been as severe as those made by other government bodies.

This is an update. The original story is below.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego County voters Tuesday will choose two members of the Board of Supervisors, with two incumbents vying to hold onto seats on a board that has remained unchanged since 1995.

The races pit Supervisor Bill Horn against Vista City Councilman Steve Gronke in a North County district, and incumbent Ron Roberts against American Red Cross spokesman Stephen Whitburn in a district mainly within the city of San Diego.

Horn and Roberts -- who sit on the board with Greg Cox, Dianne Jacob and Pam Slater-Price -- are the first supervisors in 12 years to be forced into a runoff election.

Both incumbents point to the fiscal discipline exhibited by the board and county administrators, nothing that while San Diego County has reduced spending and laid off employees during the economic downturn, the cuts have not been as severe as those made by other government bodies.

Horn said people are happy with the financial management of the county.

"What they're really concerned about is taxes -- they don't want any new taxes," Horn said. "I promised them I wouldn't do that to them."

The county has balanced its budget without new taxes, and construction of its operations center in Kearny Mesa has created jobs, he said.

At nearly every board meeting recently, Roberts has pointed out the supervisors' record of fiscal discipline.

Their challengers point to ethics issues, primarily regarding Neighborhood Reinvestment Funds, in which supervisors direct county money to area nonprofit agencies and arts groups with the consent of the full board.

"Nobody likes the abuse of the slush funds," Whitburn said.

Gronke said members of recipient organizations turn around and contribute money to the supervisors.

The board recently changed eligibility criteria for those requesting Neighborhood Reinvestment Funds and, at Whitburn's request, banned gifts to the supervisors from agencies that receive county money.

Gronke said voters of all political stripes "are fed up" with the supervisors' "unethical behavior."

In the June primary, Roberts took 47 percent of the vote, compared with 22 percent for Whitburn, with three others trailing. In his district, Horn also collected 47 percent of the vote, and Gronke had 21 percent, ahead of three other challengers.

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