Horn in tight race to keep county supervisor seat - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Horn in tight race to keep county supervisor seat

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Supervisor Bill Horn was in a dogfight Tuesday in his effort to continue a two-decade run on the San Diego County of Board of Supervisors, trailing Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent, following the release of the first vote-by-mail ballot results Tuesday.

The two Republicans in the nonpartisan race, are vying to serve the coastline from Camp Pendleton to Carlsbad, along with Oceanside, Vista and San Marcos, and several unincorporated communities.

Ron Roberts was unopposed for reelection to represent the majority of the city of San Diego.

Horn, 77, a former Marine officer and Vietnam veteran, is seeking his sixth term. The avocado and citrus grower was elected to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 1994.

Wood, 66, served on the Oceanside City Council since 2002 following more than 30 years in law enforcement, and became the city's mayor in 2004.

Both Horn and Wood listed economic development, public safety and fiscal responsibility among their top issues, but their opinions differed drastically on the county's land use plan. The often-outspoken Horn voted against a general plan update because he said property owners' rights would be violated. The plan eventually passed.

Combined, the supervisors represent about 3 million residents and oversee a nearly $5 billion budget.

In another closely watched county election, Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk Ernest Dronenburg, who drew fire after he filed court papers seeking clarification on issuing same-sex marriage licenses, but later withdrew the petition, took a large early lead over three challengers.

Dronenburg had 59.4 percent of the vote, compared to 29.6 percent for consumer attorney Susan Guinn. Real estate professional George Mantor and financial analyst Jonathan Gordon split the other votes.

While Dronenburg was criticized for his actions on same-sex marriage, Guinn -- who is married to her female partner -- focused her campaign on eliminating the property assessment appeals backlog, ending "bloated budget, excessive fees and over-taxation," and replacing outdated systems.

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