San Diego County, which is home to the city of San Diego and many of its suburbs, spent decades as a GOP stronghold up and down the ballot. After backing FDR during his final campaign in 1944, the county would not support another Democratic presidential nominee until Bill Clinton narrowly took it in 1992. The county went back into the GOP column for the following three presidential elections, but Barack Obama went on to carry it during both of his presidential campaigns. Hillary Clinton also scored a 56-37 victory in 2016, which was Team Blue’s best showing since FDR’s 1936 landslide.
Republicans, though, have continued to dominate the county government despite this big shift to the left. Team Red even earned a 5-0 majority in 2016 after Gasper won a four-year term by unseating Democratic incumbent Dave Roberts—whose staffers accused him of impropriety—50.3-49.7.
The following cycle went better for Democrats, though, when former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, a Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat, won a landslide victory in one of the two seats that were on the 2018 ballot. Gasper herself sought a promotion that year by running for the open 49th Congressional District, but she ended up taking just fifth place in the top two primary.
That brings us to 2020, when the other three supervisor seats are on the ballot. Team Blue already scored a pickup in the open 1st District in the March primary when two Democrats advanced to the general, while Republicans kept the open 2nd District after two of its candidates prevailed. That leaves the contest between Gaspar and Lawson-Remer as the decisive race that will decide control of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
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