Bill Horn running for his sixth term as the Fifth District San Diego County supervisor is probably not a surprise. Some might even consider the news a bitter disappointment.
Yet after 19 lively years in office, the North County supervisor still seems to enjoy public life.
I recently bumped into Horn at the San Diego Albondigas lunch in Old Town. He worked the room with ease, tossing out the occasional jab or story with zesty swagger and a good-natured laugh.
The years have certainly softened him a bit on his governing style growing into more of a pragmatist. Despite being developer friendly, Horn does support “green” efforts — parks, open space or LEED-certified design projects — so long as he sees it in the right light. If your pitch includes the words “climate” and “change,” somewhere in there better be a solid nugget about saving “taxes” and “money.”
Being five white Republicans for many years, it led some to believe the Board of Supervisors all shared the same brain. Frankly, they often did not see eye-to-eye. They are as different as their constituencies.
But they’ve been colleagues and dare I say, friends (or friendly) long enough to know which buttons set off the alarm bells in one another and their chiefs of staff.
Many wondered about the change in dynamic after Democrat Dave Roberts won election to Supervisor Pam Slater-Price’s seat when she vacated it last year. Mostly, it’s been the (non)talk of the town. Politicos of every stripe generally describe Roberts as a nice guy. And even Horn noted that after the change-up, the county “is still on the same course,” in yesterday’s U-T San Diego Logan Jenkins column.
Some early talk of opposition in Horn’s race includes Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood, San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond and even county Planning Commissioner Peder Norby, a Slater-Price appointee. Horn’s ready. He’s working with his long-time brain trust led by general consultant Tom Shepard, and will officially kick off his 2014 fundraising as part of his 70th birthday celebration later this month.
Of all the supervisors, Horn’s been the media’s favorite to hate. He wears his conservatism on his sleeve and is shamelessly pro-business/pro-growth. The former Marine’s regularly found himself in the thick of controversy facing rumors and some rather serious accusations.
Public shaming does not push him into hiding. He shows up to work, defiant as ever, ready to take more jabs. He continues to run, he continues to win.
What say you? Think Horn sails through to yet another term or will a worthy adversary give him a run for his money?
– Erica Holloway is a site administrator of San Diego Rostra. Follow her at @erica_holloway.