Three North County Republicans eye 74th District Assembly seat North County Times - North San Diego and Southwest Riverside County News


NORTH COUNTY ---- With the 2006 primary elections more than eight months away, three North County residents are making preparations to run for the 74th District seat held by state Assemblyman Mark Wyland, an Escondido Republican whose six-year tenure will end next year because of term limits.

In recent months, Encinitas City Councilman Jerome Stocks, Escondido City Councilwoman Marie Waldron and former Reagan campaign official Martin Garrick have all filed paperwork with the San Diego County Registrar of Voters to establish fund-raising committees for the race. All are Republicans.

The 74th District covers much of North County, including the cities of Escondido, San Marcos, Vista, Carlsbad, Solana Beach, Encinitas and Del Mar.

With 101,822 registered Republicans and 63,781 registered Democrats, the district has long been considered a safe seat for the GOP. Republicans have held the seat for more than two decades.

Thus far, no Democrats have filed paperwork with the registrar's office to set up campaign finance committees ---- a move that generally leads to formal declarations of candidacy.

Real estate manager

Solana Beach resident Garrick, 52, is married and has four children. While he has never held elective office, he said Thursday that his involvement in politics and government goes back decades.

In 1966 and 1970, he said, he walked precincts for Ronald Reagan in his successful run for the governorship. And in 1980 he worked at Reagan's national campaign headquarters in the lead up to his presidential victory, said Garrick, who is the former vice chairman for the Republican Party of San Diego County.

Then, between 1981 and 1985, he worked for the office of the Secretary of Energy. He has owned and managed Solana Beach real-estate and property-management company Admiral Property Company for 15 years, Garrick said.

He said he decided to run for the state Assembly because he wants to work for change in several areas.

"As a businessman, I haven't liked the direction the state has taken as far as taxes, immigration and (the way it) is neglecting transportation and other infrastructure," Garrick said Thursday.

The self-described fiscal and social conservative touted his years of business experience and many years of working in Reagan's campaigns and administration.

Encinitas councilman

Encinitas resident Stocks was first elected to city council in 2000. The married, 48-year-old father of three children owns an insurance brokerage business.

He said that he wants to become a North County assemblyman because "I would like to help the state of California to once again become the greatest state in the greatest nation in the world."

Stocks said the key issues facing the 74th District and the state are education, highways, transportation and energy, "and of course we have to fix the border," he said.

He said that his background in city government, as a business owner and in the insurance industry make him the ideal candidate.

"Insurance is one of the most important issues facing the state of California," Stocks said.

Escondido councilwoman

Escondido resident and City Council member Waldron was first elected to council in 1998 and than again in 2002. The 45-year-old, married mother of one child has been co-owner of a small automotive apparel business in the city for the last 11 years.

She said the same thing that made her run for council is driving her to run for state office.

"As a business owner and taxpayer, I feel as though California has a tax-and-spend addiction," she said, adding that she believes the state has been very anti-business, citing its failure to adequately address the cost of workers compensation insurance.

Waldron said that as a council member, she has helped balance the city's budget. As a member of the state Assembly, she would do the same, she added.

"What they need to do is just stop the spending; they just keep growing the bureaucracy and they need to cut it," Waldron said. "I have a proven record of standing up to fight taxes and will bring a local government perspective (to the office)."

Now that Wyland's incumbency in the state Assembly is approaching its end, he has said that he is giving serious consideration to running for the Republican nomination to fill the 50th Congressional District seat now held by eight-term Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Escondido.

Cunningham, 63, is facing an ongoing grand jury investigation into his financial ties to two defense contractors and a New York businessman. In June, the former Navy ace pilot announced that he would not seek re-election in 2006, citing the growing stress the investigation was having on his family.