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Blakespear, Gunderson headed for November showdown in race for state Senate District 38

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, with Encinitas City Council member Joe Mosca in the background.
Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, with Encinitas City Council member Joe Mosca in the background, speaks at a news conference in favor of passing a building electrification ordinance for the city.
(Rob Nikolewski/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Three other state Senate races in San Diego County automatically advance to the Nov. 8 general election with only two candidates vying for each seat

Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear and small-business owner Matt Gunderson appear to be headed for a November general election for state Senate District 38 in a race between a Democratic Party progressive and an anti-tax Republican.

On Wednesday morning, Blakespear and Gunderson were neck and neck with 43 percent and 45 percent of tallied votes, respectively. Democrat Joe Kerr had just under 11 percent of the vote.

The three candidates squared off Tuesday in the race for the district, which runs from southern Orange County through Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas and Vista, south to Carmel Valley, La Jolla, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach.

On the campaign trail, Blakespear has brandished her environmental bonafides, which have included adopting an Encinitas building ordinance that limits the use of natural gas in new construction, installing new barrier-protected bike lanes and supporting a San Diego Gas & Electric alternative, known as San Diego Community Power. She also supports efforts to address burdensome housing costs through building subsidized housing, cracking down on illegal vacation rentals and fast-tracking approval of accessory dwelling units.

Gunderson has called for the building of more dams to address drought, freezing fuel taxes to give drivers relief from spiking gas prices and imposing harsher penalties for crimes that include guns. He’s opposed to stricter gun-control laws and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s handling of the pandemic.

The other three state Senate races in San Diego County are comprised of only two candidates, who will automatically advance to the Nov. 8 general election.

In District 18 — coving portions of the city of San Diego, the county’s South Bay, including National City, Imperial Beach and Otay Mesa, as well as parts of Imperial, San Bernardino and Riverside counties — Chula Vista City Council member and California Coastal Commission member Steve Padilla, a Democrat, will face off with Republican Alejandro Galicia, a Navy veteran.

In District 32 — which includes central San Diego County and parts of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties — Democrat Brian Nash, an analytics consultant, challenges Republican state Assemblymember Kelly Seyarto.

In District 40 — which includes Escondido, Poway, Santee, the Mira Mesa and Rancho Bernardo neighborhoods of San Diego, Descanso, Lakeside and Ramona — Republican state Sen. Brian Jones is running against Democrat Joseph Rocha, an attorney and veteran of the Navy and Marines.

Updates

4:48 p.m. June 9, 2022: This story has been updated with new tallies.

4:48 p.m. June 9, 2022: This story has been updated with new tallies.


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