Caruso concedes as Measure A defeat grows more certain

North Coast Current

Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso conceded defeat of Carlsbad’s Measure A on Monday as the latest tally of votes continued to confirm the initiative’s demise.

“I have called the leadership of the Citizens for North County and congratulated them on their hard fought campaign,” Caruso said Monday in a statement, which he shared with supporters via the Yes on A Facebook page. “This was a close election with strong voter turnout on both sides. Each side share a common love for their Carlsbad community, a sentiment we share.”

“We have confirmed that Caruso Affiliated has indeed called CNC leadership to congratulate them on a hard won campaign,” Citizens for North County, which mounted the campaign against Measure A, reported in a statement published Monday on its website. “Citizens for North County remains committed to the voting process and our volunteers are presently at the Registrar of Voters defending each and every vote.”

An updated tally from the county registrar of voters shows Carlsbad’s Measure A still headed toward defeat as of 3:33 p.m. Monday.

The initiative — which would have opened the door to construction of a luxury mall and related open-space preservation along Agua Hedionda Lagoon — was losing 51.99 percent (20,362 votes) to 48.01 percent (18,806 votes), according to the updated unofficial results.

The results note that just 300 mail-in and provisional ballots remain to be counted.

The Carlsbad City Council initially approved the original Caruso-backed initiative outright in late 2015, which sparked a successful citizens-led counter drive to force Measure A to a public vote.

“This election has clearly demonstrated how strongly our residents value Carlsbad’s excellent quality of life and community character,” the City Council said in a collective statement released Feb. 24. “While we sometimes have different ideas about what is best for Carlsbad’s future, we all share a deep love and commitment to our city.”