Four candidates are seeking to fill the seat of District 5 county Supervisor Bill Horn, who will be termed out this year after serving 24 years on the board of supervisors.
With the June 5 election only a few weeks away, voting has already begun, as San Diego County residents are receiving their mail-in ballots from the county Registrar of Voters office.
Desmond and Kern, who announced their candidacies in the first half of 2017, lead in fundraising, with Desmond topping the field, having raised $54,810 through April 21 this year, on top of $185,734 raised last year. Kern reported $17,100 this year, and $112,917 in 2017.
Arsivaud and Gomez entered the race earlier this year. Arsivaurd reported raising $26,956 through April 21, and she also loaned her campaign $5,000. Gomez reported $5,040 in contributions this year.
Below are short profiles of Arsivaud and Gomez. For profiles of Desmond and Kern, visit this link to a previous article published in this newspaper about the race: http://bit.ly/2Ilof6I
Since that article was written, another candidate, Oceanside City Councilwoman Esther Sanchez, has dropped out of the race.
Arsivaud said she was prompted to run for a seat on the board of supervisors by what she contends is the "undue influence of developers" on the board's decision-making process.
Arsivaud, 59, a resident of Elfin Forest in an unincorporated area of San Diego County, sits on both the San Dieguito Community Planning Group and the Elfin Forest Harmony Grove Town Council.
A retired tech executive from Hewlett Packard who also started and ran her own companies, Arsivaud emigrated to the U.S. from France in her 20s. Her children attended R. Roger Rowe School in Rancho Santa Fe, where she was involved with the school's Parent Teacher Organization.
Along with running for county supervisor, Arsivaud belongs to a group gathering signatures to place a measure - called SOS for Save Our San Diego Countryside - on the November ballot that would require a public vote for any project needing an amendment to the county's general plan.
She charged that San Diego County officials, aware the SOS initiative could become law, are trying to rush through a number of general plan amendments this year. Instead, she said, the board of supervisors should put off decisions on the projects until 2019, when two new board members will be seated.
She said this election is about change, and she would work to take the county in a different direction.
Horn, said Arsivaud, "was incredibly friendly to development interests. I would be a radical change from that."
Rather than allowing urban sprawl, she said, she would push for "smart growth" policies to accommodate the need for development, and prevent houses from being built in wildland or fire-prone areas.
If elected, she said, she would also work to recruit tech companies that are relocating from the San Francisco Bay area, bringing high-paying jobs San Diego County.
Gomez, 47, lives in Oceanside and serves on both the Oceanside Housing Commission, and the county's Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, which addresses such issues as human trafficking, domestic violence and homelessness.
She also works for a medical software company, analyzing legislation at the local, state and federal levels to ensure compliance with regulations.
Between working, volunteering and running for office, she said, her schedule is pretty full. "I work full-time and I sleep never," she joked.
If elected, she said, she would work to "improve the lives of working families," by focusing on providing livable wages and good retirement plans, as well as making sure vacancies in the county workforce are filled.
Gomez said she would also seek to make sure all San Diegans have access to affordable and attainable housing, and are not priced out of the market by rising housing costs.
Another priority, she said, is combating urban sprawl and its attendant problems, from traffic congestion to pollution, by using smart growth principles.
The county needs to provide more housing for low income people, she said, which can be accomplished by integrating a mix of different income levels into new housing projects that come before the county, Gomez said.
Other issues that Gomez said she would address include homelessness, environmental protection, strengthening fire protection and creating a robust system of mass transit. The county can also do more to build trust between police and the communities they serve, especially if Democrats Dave Myers and Genevieve Jones-Wright, candidates for sheriff and district attorney, are elected, Gomez said.
"We can start building that trust again," she said.
By providing good jobs with benefits, affordable housing and mass transit, and protecting the environment, the lives of working San Diegans can be improved, Gomez said.
"We want to lift our communities up," she said.