News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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Jerry Kern Says No

Blake+and+Jerry+Kern+at+the+OPD+Awards+Luncheon+in+January
Blake and Jerry Kern at the OPD Awards Luncheon in January
By Ken Harrison

Oceanside CA— By having to stop his campaign this week, Oceanside City Councilman Jerry Kern lost his chance to represent the 76th Assembly District in Sacramento. But he also lost something else in this election season. 39 pounds. It’s the deal he made with his wife, Blake, to support his seeking higher office.
Weight loss aside, in a political shake up move announced last week on Carl Demaio’s afternoon talk show on AM 600 KOGO, incumbent Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside), a declared candidate for U.S. Senate, announced he was withdrawing from the statewide race, and will instead run for re-election for his current office in the 76th District.
“He called me 45 minutes before he went on the air,” Kern told the Reader. “I was disappointed of course, the time and effort that had already gone in the campaign.”
Kern withdrew officially on February 17, with a letter mailed to his supporters, knowing he really didn’t have a chance against incumbent, now candidate Chavez, and former Governor Pete Wilson’s stepson, Phil Graham.
With no declared Democrat candidate, and without Chavez’s candidacy, both Kern and Graham would have been able to by-pass June’s open primary where the top two finishers – sans party affiliation – go into November’s general election. Kern says he felt confident he would have received the Republican Party’s central committee’s endorsement over Graham. “I know I had 31 of the 50 committee member’s support,” said Kern.
“I was running so that North County would have a true conservative Republican in Sacramento,” said Kern. Neither Chavez nor Graham will need local campaign money to run their campaigns, claims Kern. “Its all coming through, and being directed by Sacramento,” he said.
Graham, a political unknown, had raised twice as much money as Kern, prior to Chavez’s announcement. Kern has offered to return the $138,000 he collected from campaign donors. So for none have asked for it back.
Kern will be staying out of the fray. He will not endorse either candidate. “Unfortunately Sacramento will be represented in North County, but North County will not be represented in Sacramento, ” he said.
Now that he’s not running for Assembly, Kern is continuing his work as the local cheerleader for House Resolution #3643; a bill in Washington that would allow a quicker move of San Onofre’s nuclear waste to existing facilities in eastern New Mexico and west Texas, rather than wait possibly decades for Nevada’s proposed Yucca Mountain depository to pass years of hurdles. In the last few weeks he’s lobbied for, and received support from the cities of Encinitas and Laguna Woods.
Kern says he sincerely doubts he will run for reelection to the Oceanside council in 2018. “You stay around here long enough and you start feeling like the city depends on you. This city survived for 125 years before I got here, and it will continue long after I’m gone.”
Of the weight loss, he’s added back seven pounds recently. “I try to go to the gym three times a week, but this is the worst job to try lose weight; sitting all day or people always wanting to take you to lunch,” he said as he rushed off to lunch with the NAACP to work on adding new educational signage to the city’s Mesa Drive, ceremonially dubbed Rev. Martin Luther King Way.

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Jerry Kern Says No