All but one husband ditches Encinitas race
The husband of Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar is pushing forward with his plan to win her seat in November, but the husbands of two other city politicians announced Aug. 17 that they won’t be running after all.
Paul Gaspar and Encinitas Councilwoman Catherine Blakespear are the only two candidates vying for the mayor’s post in the Nov. 8 election. Kristin Gaspar isn’t seeking re-election because she’s locked in a race for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
As many suspected they would, Steve Bartram, husband of outgoing Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer, and Don Barth, the husband of former Encinitas councilwoman and mayor Teresa Barth, both backed out of the race Aug. 17, the last day to submit nomination papers.
“I am stepping down from actually filing today,” Bartram said early on the afternoon of Aug. 17. He and Barth later issued a joint news release confirming their decision.
Both had pulled nomination papers last month — days after Gaspar announced his candidacy — in what many suspected was a dig at the mayor’s husband.
The pair said Aug. 17 that they went through the documents and collected 20 signatures of registered city voters, required for any candidate, but ultimately decided against running because they didn’t want to take votes away from Blakespear, whom they plan to endorse.
“From a purely political point of view, splitting the votes is not what I wanted to do,” Bartram said.
Barth also said financing a campaign was an issue, mentioning Kristin Gaspar spent tens of thousands of dollars on her mayoral campaign two years ago, and “we don’t have that kind of money.”
“We’re going to put all of our efforts behind Catherine (Blakespear),” he said.
Paul Gaspar couldn’t be reached for comment on Aug. 17.
Blakespear, who announced her candidacy in late February, is an attorney and a fourth-generation Encinitas resident. She was elected to the City Council in 2014 after serving four years on the city’s Traffic and Public Safety Commission.
Gaspar, who announced his candidacy in mid-July, is the founder and president of Gaspar Physical Therapy. The company, which opened in 1994, has seven offices, including locations in Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad, and employs more than a hundred people.
In 2014, Kristin Gaspar became the city’s first elected mayor when the city switched over to a directly elected mayor system.
She is in a runoff election in November for a seat on the San Diego County Supervisors now held by Dave Roberts, so she isn’t seeking re-election to her mayoral post.
In addition to the mayor’s spot, there are three council seats up for election in November and one of those three seats will have a two-year term, instead of a four-year one in order to accommodate the recent shift to an elected mayor. Whoever receives the least votes out of the top three vote-getters for those three seats will receive the two-year position.
As of Aug. 17, five people had filed paperwork to run for those seats. Incumbents Tony Kranz and Mark Muir had filed, as had Tasha Boerner Horvath, Phil Graham and Tony Brandenburg. The third incumbent council member — Shaffer — announced last year that she would not seek re-election.
Brandenberg and Horvath are city planning commissioners. Graham, who pulled out of the state Assembly race earlier this year, is the stepson of former governor Pete Wilson.
— Barbara Henry is a writer for The San Diego-Union Tribune