Story by Bryce Aston, Katie Decker and Adam Correa
SAN MARCOS–Brian E. Olson emerged on top of the Palomar College Governing Board race for the District #4 seat. As of Thursday evening, he accumulated 21,693 votes, accounting for 37.89% of total votes, according to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.
Four candidates strive for the district’s position, which spans from Valley Center and Poway to the Borrego Springs and Julian school districts. With 370,000 votes to still be counted, it seems Olson has a large enough lead to secure his victory.
“I’m pretty excited about it, and excited about my opportunity to get back to being in a leadership role within the community colleges,” Olson said on Wednesday.
Overjoyed about his win, Olson, who is a businessman and veterans advocate, was up late the night before the election thinking about his next step. He is ready to reach out to leadership groups within the student government structure, introduce himself and let the people know who he is.
Olson will be joining the Board starting this winter and already knows what needs to be done in his first year. He is realistic in his goals, understanding that the Board is a group effort and that it will likely take a few years to fix Palomar’s financial crisis and other issues. However, he is focused on “stopping the leak in the dam.”
If successful in his first year, he will have accomplished establishing a relationship with the new trustees and connecting with the leadership. He would also like to at least have the school on track to restoring fiscal stability, and in turn gain back the respect of the state.
Words from Olson’s Opponents
Following Olson in second, businessman and technology entrepreneur John Santhoff received 18,405 votes, accounting for 31.88% of total votes cast.
The Telescope contacted Santhoff to get his thoughts on the election but was unable to get in touch with him.
Lee Dulgeroff, a chief building executive, follows in third. He received 14,516 votes, accounting for 25.48% of total counted votes.
“I was looking forward to helping Palomar get out of the situation they are in right now and to help them transition into better times, but I respect the will of the voters and the election,” he said during an interview on Wednesday.
He is supportive of all of the candidates who ran against him and is certain that the winner has good intentions for Palomar. Even though he did not win, he is still supportive of the school and wants the best for it.
“I think you only regret things in life that you decide not to try,” Dulgeroff said. “You have to challenge yourself, so if you try hard and put your best foot forward and do the best you can, sometimes you succeed and sometimes you don’t. It’s better to try and fail than to never try at all.”
At 24, Evan Krausz is the youngest candidate running for District #4. He came in fourth place with 2,639 votes, accounting for 4.61% of total votes so far.
“I’m happy with what happened with the election,” the businessman said said in an interview, not disappointed at being down in this race.
In regards to what he learned from the election experience, he said “a lot more goes into it than I assumed.” He did not have much in the way of campaign funds, with only about $100 of his own put toward his campaign.
Krausz, who felt that he was the least qualified, being so young, is considering running again in the future. He believes that he can still make a big impact on Palomar.
From here, however, he is returning “back to normal life.” He wants to get more involved with the community and Palomar itself, considering doing volunteer work or consistently attending Palomar Board meetings.
If the vote stays in favor of Olson, Krausz feels that his opponent will make a big impact on the Palomar College Governing Board.