High-Flying Mayor Runs for County Seat

April 27, 2018

By Andrea Lopez-Villafaña

(Courtesy of Jim Desmond)

When it comes to flying a 250 passenger airliner or running a city with more than 90,000 residents, Jim Desmond, Mayor of San Marcos and County Board of Supervisors candidate, believes the same three priorities apply.

Safety, management of resources, and quality of life.

Desmond, who has been the mayor for 12 years and a commercial pilot for Delta Airlines for 32 years, is running for the North County seat on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

“It’s the same three main priorities,” Desmond said to La Prensa San Diego. “In both jobs and even carrying that over to county supervisor.”

The Mayor will be termed out at the end of 2018, and Supervisor Bill Horn, who has represented District 5 for 24 years, will also term out at the end of the year.

According to Desmond, it will be a nice transition for him and it will allow him to take what he learned as mayor to the county level.

Although there are significant differences between running the City of San Marcos and making County level decisions, Desmond said he is learning and meeting people throughout his campaigning.

“As an engineer I love learning how things work and making them better,” Desmond said.

Originally from Illinois, Desmond joined the United States Navy after graduating high school and then settled in San Diego where he met his wife.

He went on to earn a degree in electrical engineering from San Diego State University, then went on to pursue a career as a pilot with Delta Airlines. As a senior airline Captain, Desmond currently flies Boeing 757 and 767 airplanes from Los Angeles to Hawaii, Japan, and Central America. Desmond is now only three years away from mandatory retirement from the airline, a job he will truly miss.

Desmond became involved in politics by volunteering in his community in an effort to teach his children the importance of being involved in the community and having a say on issues. Desmond was first elected to the San Marcos City Council in 2004, then won his first election as Mayor in 2006. He was re-elected in 2010 and again in 2014.

Because of his background as an engineer and pilot, Desmond said he tries to make practical common sense logical solutions to problems, something which he applies to running the City of San Marcos through the three priorities a pilot follows while flying a plane.

Desmond said that just like prioritizing safety for the passengers of a plane, safety in a community is important and making sure neighborhoods are safe.

Secondly, he said that like managing resources such as fuel in an airplane, resources in a city have to be managed like taxes, roads and infrastructure.

Lastly, he mentioned that the quality of life is also a priority that he considers as pilot and mayor.

Desmond also recently took a stand in support of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors supporting the Trump Administration’s lawsuit against the State of California.

He shared that he is against SB 54, one of the laws that the lawsuit claims is unconstitutional, because he believes law enforcement agencies should work together to keep felons out of neighborhoods.

“My number on job is to make sure our communities stay safe,” Desmond said.

Desmond is a candidate for the 5th District of the Board of Supervisors, in the June 5th primary election. The District stretches from Rancho Santa Fe at the South, to Oceanside in the North, and Borrego Springs to the East, including the areas of Carlsbad, Camp Pendleton, San Marcos, Valley Center, Fallbrook, and Pala.

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