Four qualify for Encinitas council race


Five mayoral candidates will be on the ballot this fall, with four vying for the open council seat.

The council filing period closed Aug. 13. The deadline was Aug. 8 for the mayoral election.

Two council candidates filed just days before the cutoff: Bryan Ziegler and Alan Lerchbacker.

Ziegler, an attorney for San Diego County, unsuccessfully ran for council in 2012. Lerchbacker leads self-improvement seminars and served in the Navy for 26 years.

Also running for council: Julie Graboi, a business owner who advocated for Proposition A, the land-use initiative that passed last year; and Catherine Blakespear, an attorney who has advocated for relaxed city rules to encourage agriculture.

Former Mayor Sheila Cameron, a city activist who frequently speaks at council meetings, picked up papers to run for mayor on Aug. 9 and turned them in just before the deadline.

Other mayoral candidates in the race:

• Councilman Tony Kranz, who graduated from San Dieguito High School and works in the printing business.

• Mayor Kristin Gaspar, who is the chief financial officer of Gaspar Physical Therapy. She was elected to the council in 2010.

• Alex Fidel, the first to announce a run for mayor, a 22-year-old independent journalist.

• Munawer Bawany, an engineer who’s trying for political office for the first time.

William Morrison, an architect and the vice president of Leucadia 101 Mainstreet, picked up papers for council but didn’t turn them in. Likewise, Tara Stafford and Al Rodbell pulled papers for mayor, but decided not to run.

Some candidates started fundraising months ago, according to financial documents listing contributions from the beginning of the year to June 30, the most recent filing period.

Blakespear’s contributions totaled $24,708, the most of any candidate so far. Graboi received $3,148; Gaspar raised $8,093 during the period; and Fidel reported $53.

Encinitas voters will directly elect a mayor for the first time in November. Previously, a council majority chose the position, but voters approved Proposition K in 2012, changing that process.