Harkey, Graham, Desmond nab GOP endorsements in hot contests

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The Republican Party of San Diego County meeting Monday night resulted in the local GOP endorsing candidates in three hotly contested races where the incumbents are not seeking election this year. All those endorsed needed 2/3 of the vote from the roughly 50 members of the Party’s Central Committee to gain support, a level of backing that candidates cannot take lightly to successfully achieve.

Diane Harkey

Diane Harkey — Congress

In the 49th Congressional District, where Congressman Darrell Issa opted to not seek re-election, State Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey was endorsed, adding the San Diego GOP’s support to her prior backing from the Orange County Republican Party. Harkey is also endorsed by Issa, in a district covering portions of both counties.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to have the San Diego and Orange County party endorsements,” said Harkey. We can begin to turn this blue state RED beginning in the South and rolling North with the Red Tide. Thank God for San Diego and (GOP Chairman) Tony Krvaric — San Diego makes a difference.”

Other Republicans running for the rare open Congressional seat include Assemblyman Rocky Chavez and San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar. Both also made their cases to Party leaders before Harkey received the nod.

Phil Graham — State Assembly

As current 76th District Assemblyman Rocky Chavez is running for Congress, a number of Republicans are vying for his seat. Businessman Phil Graham received the GOP’s backing on Monday, as detailed here in a SD Rostra article by Doug Sain, who also provides an analysis of Republican prospects in the race.

Mayor Jim Desmond

Jim Desmond — County Supervisor

Fifth District San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn cannot run for re-election this year due to term limits, resulting in San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond and Oceanside City Councilman Jerry Kern both seeking local Republican Party support. Desmond was endorsed Monday night, adding the GOP to a list of endorsements that includes Horn.

“It’s an honor to receive the endorsement of the Republican Party of San Diego County,” Desmond reacted. “I’m pleased that my message of limited government, responsible fiscal policies and support for public safety resonated with the principled, hard-working activists of our party.  I know that with this team supporting my campaign, we’ll be successful in the election.”

Other races

Another contest of particular interest is the 52nd Congressional District, where six Republicans compete in an effort to defeat incumbent Democrat Scott Peters. Omar Qudrat, a former Department of Defense counter terrorism prosecutor, won the GOP’s endorsement.

Omar Qudrat

“Our campaign was resoundingly endorsed by the Central Committee,” Qudrat said. “I’m deeply thankful to the committee for entrusting and recognizing our campaign as the one all San Diego Republicans should get behind to win this November. I’m calling on all San Diego Republicans to gear up and combine our forces—join our campaign today. One Team One Fight!”

The Party also endorsed other Republican candidates either running for re-election to their current seats or seeking to oust incumbent Democrats. The entire list of endorsements can be found here, as well as links to many of the candidates’ web pages.

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  2. I have known Jim Desmond for almost 40 years. He is, without a doubt, the best person for the job. A great family man and a good friend.

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