The Issa replacement field and an Open Letter To Diane Harkey: Run For Congress

Brian Brady Brian Brady 14 Comments

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The big news in North County San Diego is that Darrell Issa won’t seek re-election:

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Ca., will not seek re-election later this year, opening up another battleground in the deep blue state as Republicans and Democrats spar for control of the House.

Issa’s decision to leave Congress follows the announced retirement of Rep. Ed Royce, R-Ca., earlier this week. He announced the move in a statement on Wednesday.

“While my service to California’s 49th District will be coming to an end, I will continue advocating on behalf of the causes that are most important to me, advancing public policy where I believe I can make a true and lasting difference, and continuing the fight to make our incredible nation an even better place to call home,” Issa said in the statement.

This opens up a chance for a Republican to replace him. The Democratic candidates running to replace Issa have a signficant head start on fundraising. Republicans gotta get this one right or we lose a seat in the House. 

My guess is that every North County City Council member, Assembly member, and State Senator will consider their chances in the next few weeks. My short list of potential candidates would include: County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, County Supervisor Bill Horn, Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, Vista Councilmember Amanda Rigby, Vista Deputy Mayor John Franklin, Vista Mayor Judy Ritter, Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall, Assemblyman Bill Brough, State Senator Pat Bates, and maybe Aliso Viejo Mayor Mike Munzing. I am sure another half dozen political newcomers will consider a run as well.

Horn, Abed and Munzing don’t live in the District. They can still run, but that can be used against them. I can’t see Chavez getting much support from Republicans after he broke his taxes promise — if he runs, he’s a vanity candidate. Gaspar is new in her job as County Supervisor and doesn’t have much name recognition — if she runs, she’s a vanity candidate. Franklin and Rigby are both austere candidates, but their names aren’t well known in Dana Point, Encinitas or Rancho Santa Fe. Brough has no name recognition in San Diego. In my mind, Bates or State Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey are positioned best to run.

I have nothing against Bates, but Harkey is the only candidate who can win this election. This is going to be a tough race with millions of Democratic money thrown at it. Harkey can raise money, has represented several hundred thousand constituents in the District, has an enviable record as the Chairwoman of the Board of Equalization, and has been in elected office in the District since 2004.

More importantly, Diane Harkey is a conservative. She has an A rating from the NRA, California Taxpayers Association, and Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. The Capitol Resource Institute rates her 100 percent for policy positions on marriage and the family.

What’s the problem if she can win the seat and she’s also the right fit for conservatives? We have to convince her to run. Harkey is a shoo-in for re-election to the Board of Equalization. She can serve another four years, retire from politics at age 70 (she’s 66 now), and retreat to private life. I wouldn’t blame her if she chose that path but let me make this plea; Diane, we need you to run for Congress and win.

Diane is a fighter. Diane can raise money. Diane is a great campaigner. Diane can run and win and be a great conservative member of Congress. Call her office and tell her you support her.

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Comments 14

  1. DAN HARKEY WAS FOUND GUILTY OF FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE FIVE YEARS AGO. HE WAS ORDERED TO PAY BACK US PLAINTIFFS MILLIONS AND MILLIONS AND MILLIONS AND MILLIONS AND MILLIONS. HE HAS NOT PAID ONE CENT. PLAINTIFFS HAVE FALLEN ILL AND HAVE DIED WAITING. THE HARKEYS DO NOT RESPECT THE COURTS.
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  5. Without a local party endorsement, it could be difficult to advance to General. Local party needs to interview no later than March. This last minute stuff makes me frustated. Issa should have published his intentions after Thanksgiving.

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  7. If the Republican Party ends up supporting Diane Harkey as a Candidate for anything, I will definitely be voting Independent on the next voting cycle. And I will certainly encourage everyone I know to do the same thing.

  8. Fact: The only way for either side to win this seat is to persuade voters from the center.

    The Republican Party needs to re-brand itself if it wants to move some from the center toward the right. People are tired of career politicians and many have given up on the Federal government. There are more in the center than ever before!

    Diane is just more of the same. She has aligned herself as Issa #2 (Issa with long hair and a dress). I like her, I just like her over there in Sacramento. She brings nothing new, nothing exciting, nothing to persuade center to right and for that reason she is not the right choice for Republicans.

    The OCGOP and RPSDC need to join together, embrace a candidate that is New and Different. They should show leadership by taking a bold new approach that will peak the interests of ordinary voters, energize the center toward right, and ensure a victory come November.

    Time for a fresh and capable Republican Candidate. Someone smart.

    In my opinion, Patent Attorney Joshua Schoonover is the best Republican Candidate for this seat in this election. He is the best Candidate to attract the center and ensure a Republican win. That is why businesses are supporting him on facebook etc. Absent some other Candidate joining in last-minute, like a Carl DeMaio, I think I will vote the patent attorney.

    I am a 62 year old right-leaning independent in Carlsbad.

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    Good grief, you’re right, Barry. He was running against Hunter until he was running against Issa. The filing period isn’t over yet so he might just flip back if Hunter decides not to run

    Another opportunistic politician, looking for that government check. I can’t keep up without a program

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