Attempts to put candidates for the San Diego County Fourth District supervisor race into clearly defined boxes are failing.

Sixteen year incumbent and moderate Republican Ron Roberts is in a pickle as the deciding vote in a large, controversial development project in North County. As a moderate Republican, he faces a 15-percent registration disadvantage to Democrats in the district, which consists of San Diego’s urban core.

San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye — the candidate with the most name-recognition — hasn’t decided if she’s running or not.

San Diego Unified school board member Shelia Jackson’s decision to run depends on the day you talk to her.

That leaves Democratic Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña. This week, she announced a major position statement on her Facebook page.

Saldaña is not supporting a ballot initiative that would subject county supervisors to eight-year term limits. The measure is backed by organized labor, seemingly a vital constituency in Saldaña’s effort to unseat a long-time incumbent.

Saldaña writes that she believes the term limit measure will pass, but her time in state politics teaches her that they aren’t a good idea:

Bottom line: In my experience, term limits shift political power and policy decisions away from those of us who choose to run for office, to those who are unelected and unaccountable.

Saldaña’s thoughts on term limits have never been a secret, but she didn’t lay out her position comprehensively before now. Read her full statement here.

A big question emerging in the race is how much support labor will give to Saldaña or Frye, another Democrat known for bucking labor at times.

— LIAM DILLON

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