Board Of Supervisors District 5 Race Set: Gomez Versus Desmond

William Del Pilar William Del Pilar Leave a Comment


A conservative Latino’s view on politics…

The Board of Supervisors District 5 race – an upset in the making! Commissioner Michelle Gomez (D) overcame Jerry Kern’s (R) experience, war chest, and her own late entry obstacles. Resulting in second behind San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond (R). Setting up the classic battle of left versus right this November.

Two good individuals suffered a tough loss, but success doesn’t build a person’s true character. Life knocks us down and how we get up, persevere and overcome builds character. Both Jacqueline Arsivaud (D) and Jerry Kern will persevere and overcome. Much success in their political and private sector endeavors.


No determination was possible for the No. 2 slot election night. About 900 votes separated Gomez and Kern with 200,000 outstanding. From this writing, there are now 32,000 ballots outstanding, with Gomez increasing her lead over 4,600 votes. It’s trending Gomez’s way.

Desmond meanwhile cruised to the top spot and when early results emerged everyone began wondering if he could deliver the knockout blow – 50-plus one. To be so close, yet so far, Desmond does enter the general election, the heavy favorite.

  • Jim Desmond: 58,417 (45.16 percent)
  • Michelle Gomez: 29,662 (22.93 percent)
  • Jerome “Jerry” Kern: 24,804 (19.17 percent)
  • Jacqueline Arsivaud: 16,482 (12.74 percent)


Party politics is the most important and powerful endorsement a candidate can gain in a race this size. Specifically, the perks that come with the party’s political machine – donor networks, advertising, volunteers, and more. The cost of mailers and door hangers alone are worth their weight in gold. The board of supervisors may be a nonpartisan position, but let’s not fool ourselves, it’s a partisan race.

The Democrat Party endorsement of Nathan Fletcher in the board of supervisors District 4 race is a great example of that. The financial power of that endorsement overcame a crowded Democrat field. A field that turned vicious with candidates clearly disliking one another.


On short notice, Gomez campaign manager Don Gomez implemented an efficient grassroots campaign. By aggressively going into suburban precincts, he combined the powerful Democrat Party endorsement with his volunteer base to gain the edge and overcome the odds to secure the No. 2 slot.

The Desmond campaign superbly run and executed by John Hoy strategically used the Republican Party endorsement to lock down their base. Playing the numbers game, gave them an easy victory.

Gomez and Hoy; brilliant with strategy and tactics now face off, “mano-a-mano!”


Do they contrast on development? Cannabis? Homelessness? Mental health services? Mass transit versus rural planning? The General Plan and amendments? Check their websites and if you don’t see your issue, contact them or just come to our next debate.


After the “North County Rumble,” both candidates said they’d come back to Valley Center for a debate. Both camps have now confirmed, with Gomez stating, “It’s time we have a real conversation about how our board of supervisors can better serve the working families of North County. About what needs to be done to protect our quality of life, uphold the character of our communities, and ensure an opportunity for prosperity for all county residents. I’m excited about returning to Valley Center to address the important issues.”

Once he finished taxiing down the runway, Desmond said, “I’m thankful for the support I had in the June election from Valley Center voters in the Supervisor’s race. Now, in advance of the general election in November, I look forward to discussing with Valley Center voters the critical issues that face North County.”

Gomez and Desmond… ready to rumble! I thank both candidates for keeping their promise to debate and a candidate willing to keep their word is a step toward building community trust. We’re working on a suitable date, so stay tuned as we get the band back together and move forward with, “The North County Rumble, Unfinished Business!”

This article originally appeared in the Valley Roadrunner, June 29, 2018.

William Del Pilar is politically active, currently sitting on the Valley Center Community Planning Group (VCCPG). As an entrepreneur, Del Pilar drove his fantasy sports company to set the standard for analysis and news distribution, helping to commercialize the industry from 1997-2008. Del Pilar sat on the boards of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) and Fantasy Sports Ventures (now owned by Gannett Co., Inc.).


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