Newly announced congressional candidate Carl DeMaio (R), a San Diego radio host who formerly served on the San Diego City Council and ran for both Mayor and then the 52nd Congressional District in 2014, just announced that he would run in District 50 that indicted Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) currently represents. With Hunter headed for trial in September over campaign finance charges, five Republicans and a Democrat have already announced their candidacies in anticipation of the Congressman being forced to leave office.
On the heels of his candidacy announcement, Mr. DeMaio released an internal Tarrance Group survey conducted way back in June (6/24-26; 302 CA-50 likely primary voters) that shows DeMaio and former Rep. Darrell Issa, who is not an announced candidate, as the two Republicans who score in double-digits. Despite DeMaio’s claim that he is the candidate to beat, the data actually places Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar ahead of the field in most iterations. The questionnaire also revealed a negative response to Mr. Issa potentially switching districts, but they fail to indicate whether a similar question was asked about DeMaio who will be doing likewise.
Indicted California Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) doesn’t go on trial until September for campaign finance violations, but now five Republicans have already declared their candidacies to replace him. The latest is former San Diego City Councilman and radio talk show host Carl DeMaio (R), who officially announced yesterday.
Mr. DeMaio is no stranger to running for Congress. After coming close in a San Diego Mayoral special election, Mr. DeMaio then ran for the 52nd District in 2014 but lost to incumbent Scott Peters (D-San Diego), 52-48%, after his once promising campaign imploded.
Other Republicans in the 50th District campaign are El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn, former Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, and retired Navy SEAL Larry Wilske. Ammar Campa-Najjar, the 2018 Democratic nominee, who lost to Rep. Hunter 52-48%, is also an announced candidate. The contenders are moving now in anticipation that Rep. Hunter will be forced to resign after conviction or pleading guilty, which would necessitate an early 2020 special election.
Rocky de la Fuente is a habitual candidate for President who has, like President Trump, not released his tax returns. In responding to the new California law that requires presidential candidates to disclose five years of their tax returns as a condition of accessing the California primary ballot, Mr. de la Fuente has filed a lawsuit claiming that the imposed new requirement is unconstitutional. He argues that the new qualification supersedes the candidate requirements defined in the US Constitution.
International online polling firm YouGov, surveying for CBS News, is projecting a very tight California race in their latest poll (7/9-18; 1,514 CA likely Democratic primary voters from a pool of 8,760 CA registered voters). The YouGov results find former Vice President Joe Biden holding just a one-point lead over home state Sen. Kamala Harris, 24-23%, with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) posting 19 and 16%, respectively. If this were the final result, all four candidates would qualify to split the state’s treasure trove of 416 first ballot delegate votes.
In 2018, after leading the vote counting until the very end when the outcome turned, former Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford/Bakersfield) lost his seat to newcomer agri-businessman T.J. Cox (D). The total vote count of just 862 ballots separated the two candidates in what ended as the lowest turnout seat among California’s 53 CDs (113,616 voters).
Yesterday, Mr. Valadao, who has been quiet since the election, filed a 2020 candidate committee with the Federal Election Commission. While this does not constitute a statement of candidacy, it is a necessary first step. Reported sources close to the ex-Congressman indicate that Mr. Valadao will run and plans to formally announce in August. For his part, Rep. Cox just reported raising $708,501 through the second quarter with a cash-on-hand figure of $483,837.
Quinnipiac University went to the Golden State, site of the March 3rd primary that will yield the largest first ballot delegate count in the country (416), in order to test Democratic preference. Their poll was conducted over the July 10-15 period and featured a respondent pool totaling 1,125 individuals, but only 519 identified themselves as likely Democratic primary voters. Therefore, for a state the size of California, this is a small primary electorate sample.
Nevertheless, the results post home state Sen. Kamala Harris to a small, but significant, 23-21% edge over former Vice President Joe Biden with Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) posting 18 and 16%, respectively. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg falls back here with only 3% support.
Indicted San Diego/Orange County US Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) has not yet gone to trial, but already five Republicans have announced their candidacies to replace him, all obviously anticipating there will be a special election early next year. The latest to join the field is investment consultant David Edick, who announced yesterday.
Mr. Edick joins Mayors Matt Rahm and Bill Wells of Temecula and El Cajon, along with former Escondido Mayor Sam Abed. Retired Navy SEAL and ex-congressional candidate Larry Wilske is also in the race. Waiting in the wings are former 49th District US Rep. Darrell Issa and state Assembly Minority Leader Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) who are possible candidates.
Last week, it was reported that Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria was publicly considering launching a primary challenge to veteran Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno). Over the weekend, Ms. Soria announced that she will run for Congress. Rep. Costa, first elected to the House in 2004, has had two close general election campaigns, one in 2014 (50.7 – 49.3%) and another in 2010 in the former 20th District (51.7 – 48.3%), and only posted a 53-47% jungle primary result against GOP candidate Elizabeth Heng in 2018.
Under California election law all candidates, regardless of political party preference, are placed on one ballot and the top two advance into the general election. Therefore, the Soria candidacy is not a typical primary challenge in that she could also conceivably face Rep. Costa in the general election.
Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria (D) confirmed yesterday that she is considering launching a Democratic primary challenge against veteran Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno). Though Mr. Costa has been in the House since 2005 and represented the Fresno area in the state legislature since 1978, he has had a few close calls in general elections. Rep. Costa is clearly to the right of Ms. Soria, so a proposed race between the two should be interesting. The California primary is scheduled for March 3rd.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (R-CA), when seeing other Democrats beginning to line up for his congressional seat and realizing he would not be qualifying for future debates, ended his presidential campaign yesterday. He was a minor factor and his exit will not fundamentally change the race. He will now double-back in an attempt to save his House seat in a March 3rd Democratic primary that will likely be contested.
Billionaire Tom Steyer, who was thought to be preparing his own presidential run but announced he would not enter the race at the beginning of the year, is now reportedly close to changing his mind. Reports are suggesting that Mr. Steyer may join the presidential campaign as a late entry. With virtually unlimited personal resources, Steyer could become competitive, but he may be too late to earn a podium in the presidential debates for at least two more sessions.
The Rundown Blog
Before you vote, learn more about the candidates who will support a pro-jobs America.