Which Republican Should Run For the 50th Congressional District in 2020?

Brian Brady Undesignated 10 Comments

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East County should have a new Congressman and it should be a Republican.

Wait a minute! Didn’t I say “Duncan Hunter yesterday, today, and tomorrow” some 22 months ago? I did and I meant what I said back then. I saw the threat Ammar Campa-Najjar was and saw Hunter as the best defense against a Marxist interloper. But tomorrow is now yesterday, and today the Marxist interloper is running for this seat again. No matter what happens to Hunter in September, a conservative Republican should challenge (and beat) him in the March 2020 primary.

Hunter has been in that seat for 14 years and he sits on virtually no committees. While he is a reliable Republican vote in the caucus, he isn’t advancing conservative ideas in what is the most conservative district in the state. A congressman from the 50th shouldnt be a back bencher. He or she should be a loud voice in the House Freedom Caucus and an artful negotatior in the Appropriations Committee. Hunter is neither.

Which Republican is courageous enough (and viable enough) to challenge the Hunter legacy? All of the likely candidates are playing political checkers, sniffing around the election without fully committing to victory in 2020. Thus, Comrade Campa-Najjar could very well be the next Congressman if this continues.

Will former Senator Joel Anderson run? Maybe. He’s running for Supervisor in 2020 but he could be a likely candidate for this seat if Hunter runs into problems this summer. Anderson’s Congressional candidacy presents another problem — Dianne Jacob is sure to find a left-leaning candidate to replace her and a conservative Supervisorial candidate will be behind the fundraising and campaigning curve.

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells challenged Hunter last election cycle and had a problem raising money. He was, admittedly, a placeholder candidate for Republicans if Hunter was indicted before the primary. (Hunter was indicted after the primary election.) If Wells plans to run, he shouldn’t wait to announce.

Larry Wilske has expressed interest. He moved from Mission Hills to Descanso in 2015 after he ran for Susan Davis’ seat in 2014. While his only experience in government was as a senior member of the SEAL teams, his 2014 campaign helped him to understand the tactics of a Congressional campaign. If Wilske plans to run, he shouldn’t wait to announce.

Brian Jones just won a Senate seat. It would be disingenuous of him to run for Congress after telling his voters he planned to serve his term in the California Senate.

Leo Hamel could run. He announced for Assembly in 2016 but pulled out before the primary, citing family responsibilities. If he plans to run, he should address that and announce sooner rather than waiting.

Carl DeMaio might run. He has a big megaphone at KOGO and great name recognition from his effort to repeal the gas tax. His brand of fiscal conservatism would appeal to East County voters but his stances on social issues may not resonate with them. He too should announce sooner rather than later.

The primary election is in March of 2020 so anybody who is interested in this office should announce by March of this year and have at least $100,000 raised and in their election account by the June 30, 2019 deadline. The Republican Party of San Diego County should refrain from endorsing Hunter and consider a challenger’s candidacy if he or she meets that June threshhold.

Watching the Hunter legal saga and waiting to see what happens could lose Republicans a seat in Congress. If you are serious about this seat, don’t hedge your bets — step up and make a case for why you are a better candidate than Hunter. Do it NOW.

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Comments 10

  1. Carl DeMaio can and SHOULD run in 2020. With the way things are shaping up for Duncan Hunter, it’s possible DeMaio will be running for re-election in 2020.

  2. With Duncan Hunter endorsing Kevin McCarthy’s pick for CAGOP chair, a moderate-left Republican, I wonder if that could come back to hurt him this fall with support from politically active conservatives

  3. Carl DeMaio ? in Hunter’s district? I am sorry – don’t see Carl winning in 2020. I have the utmost respect for him and I worked on his Mayoral campaign way back when.
    But,
    then he ran for Congress. He did not announce he would champion the cause of limited government, less taxes, etc. No. I heard he wanted to be the first openly gay Republican Congressman. What?
    That turned me and thousands of other Christians off. The Christian Coalition got all of us conservatives to vote for Democrat Scott Peters.
    Does Carl really believe he stands a better chance in East County then in the more liberal district along the Coast?
    Please get my message to Carl: although you have name recognition and can raise lots of money, please don’t run in East County.
    My money is on Larry Wilske, a decorated veteran who will stand for our constitutional republic and limited government.

  4. Lee,

    I understand that as a Christian, you believe that homosexuality is a sin and therefore you cannot support Carl DeMaio. That being the case and knowing that adultery, fornication and greed are also biblical sins, how is it that you support Donald Trump?

  5. Just saw your comment. First to say that I honor and respect the activities of all consenting adults. I am pretty liberal that way. However, when it comes to pushing certain agendas on all our children, I get a little conservative.

    I openly campaigned for Carl when he was running for mayor. His being openly gay did not have anything to do with my support for him. The change for me occurred when he chose a particular agenda as his campaign slogan.

  6. After giving it some thought this past week, I’ve decided to support no candidate who endorses Jessica Patterson for CAGOP. I’m a nobody but politically speaking, I’ve slowly begun to build some networking with and into Latino groups.

    As a conservative, I’ll determine which candidate to support and then take that to the Latino communities. After some thought, I believe every individual who supports Jessica Patterson for CAGOP chair is merely continuing the death-spiral of the GOP that began in 2006. Why should I support them if they support the current GOP party that’s helped bury us as a party in CA?

    This past month has shown me were the GOP in California currently stands and if I was still a liberal, I would smile and laugh knowing Democrat Party dominance is likely to continue unabated at the state level.

  7. Why do you say that a primary candidate should have $100,000 in their campaign account by June 30, 2019? Is there some requirement I am missing?

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