I took a look at the first cut of the new district lines for north county. One seat is mostly made up of Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, and Encinitas. I think this is pretty much where everyone here in north county thought a seat would fall. So far the only candidate in the race has been Sherry Hodges. Sherry has been running hard, trying to get out front. She has a number of local elected officials who have endorsed her, and has hired downtown political consultant Tom Shepard. Not sure how much money she’s raised. She’s also somehow earned the “anti-endorsement” of the current holder of the district and her former boss Assemblyman Martin Garrick.
The problem for Hodges, and probably one her political consultant thought about a long time ago, is that any strong local politician who enters the race is going to make life difficult for her, particularly with Garrick active against her. To date the only candidate who may be in against Hodges is Mark Muir, a conservative local water board member. Neither he nor Hodges is really a “strong local politician”, so her strategy of getting out front could work.
Enter former Oceanside Councilman Rocky Chavez. Chavez is a retired United States Marine, with a proven track record of raising money during his period on the Oceanside City Council. Oceanside is a pretty big portion of the new seat, which also includes Camp Pendleton. I hear is he is either about to file for Assembly or already has. This mixes things up. Is he a sure thing? No. But his entry changes the race. Chavez would now legitimately be considered the front runner. Let’s see how much money they all raise now.