Gaspar now has lead on Roberts

Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar has a 659-vote lead over County Supervisor Dave Roberts as election officials continue to count ballots.

As of Nov. 23, Gaspar leads with 50.15 percent of the votes to Roberts’ 49.85 percent. It is the closest race in San Diego County by percentage points.

Gaspar, a Republican, has overcome a 2,200-vote deficit since polls closed on Nov. 8. She pulled ahead for the first time on Nov. 18 with a 15-vote edge. Two weeks ago, her campaign manager said he was optimistic that the gap would tighten but said it was unlikely Gaspar would pull ahead.

An estimated 106,000 mail-in and provisional ballots are still to be counted countywide. It’s not known how many of those ballots are in this district or when the count will be completed. The registrar of voters’ staff is working extended hours every weekday, except for the Thanksgiving, as well as weekends.

“We are very hopeful that with the large number of provisional ballots and others left to count that Supervisor Roberts will go back into the lead and win the election,” Gary Gartner, the Supervisor’s campaign strategist said earlier this week.

The race for this seat also was tight in 2012 when Democrat Roberts trailed Republican Steve Danon immediately after polls closed. Roberts eventually took the lead, and nine days after Election Day Danon conceded. Roberts won by a 4,383-vote margin.

Provisional and mail-in ballots returned late in the voting period typically favor Democrats over Republicans, even though supervisors races are non-partisan.

The district includes northern parts of San Diego, Encinitas, Escondido, Solana Beach and Del Mar.

During the campaign, Roberts — the only Democrat on the five-member Board of Supervisors — touted his accomplishments with his Republican colleagues and the relationships he forged with community groups.

Gaspar focused on a scandal that rocked Roberts’ office last year. Four women abruptly resigned from his staff, claiming their former boss misused his authority. Three filed formal complaints that were later settled for $310,000.

— Joshua Stewart writes for The San Diego Union-Tribune

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