Retired Navy SEAL Larry Wilske declared his candidacy for the House of Representatives in California’s 50th Congressional District just after St Patrick’s Day. He was the endorsed Republican candidate in 2014 to face off against long-time incumbent Susan Davis. Since then, Wilske and his wife moved from their Mission Hills home to Descanso.
Wilske was the first declared candidate in this race. Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells have pulled papers to run, and former Escondido Mayor Sam Abed recently announced his intention to run. Rumors about former Congressman Darrell Issa running were reported on The Hill, while Carl DeMaio has been phoning local Republican activists to test the waters about his possible candidacy.
Both Issa and DeMaio live outside of the boundaries of the 50th Congressional District, but because they are California residents, are qualified to run for any Congressional District within the state.
Wilske leads the pack in fundraising by a long shot. His campaign issued a press release today announcing that he has raised $376,207 since March with $270,207 coming in the 2nd Quarter of 2019.
“Our small-dollar fundraising success is a testament to the grassroots movement we’ve built in the 50th District,” said Wilske. “I am humbled by our extraordinary momentum going into the 3rd Quarter.”
Ninety-five percent of the 2nd Quarter contributions came from “low-dollar” contributions, described as less than $100. The average donation to the campaign was $40 from some 6,500 donors. The campaign reports that approximately 1,300 new donors contribute each month.