Nine candidates to face off in California’s 50th District primary

Nine candidates are running in the primary election for California’s 50th Congressional District in the U.S. House on March 3, 2020. Duncan Hunter, who had represented the district since 2013, resigned Jan. 13, 2020, after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds.

Media coverage and endorsements have focused on three Republicans and one Democrat: Ammar Campa-Najjar (D), Carl DeMaio (R), Darrell Issa (R), and Brian Jones (R). Only the top two finishers in the primary will advance to the November 3, 2020, general election.

DeMaio says he has “a three-part strategy to fix our broken political system,” arguing that Congress operates above America’s laws. Issa has highlighted his previous congressional experience and support for President Donald Trump and his policies. Jones says he has a history of representing communities in the 50th District and says neither Issa nor DeMaio are district residents.

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond and Former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock endorsed Demaio. U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R) endorsed Issa. The California Republican Assembly, the San Diego Police Officers Association, and the Peace Officers Research Association of California endorsed Jones.

Campa-Najjar says he “has introduced sweeping bipartisan legislation to end government corruption and restore power to the American people.” He was endorsed by Reps. Susan Davis (D), Eric Swalwell (D), and Adam Schiff (D).

Also running in the primary are Jose Cortes (Peace and Freedom Party of California), Helen Horvath (I), Lucinda Jahn (I), Henry Ota (I), and Nathan Wilkins (R). Marisa Calderon (D) suspended her campaign on January 31, 2020, but her name will still appear on the ballot.

In the 2018 general election, Hunter (R) defeated Campa-Najjar (D) 52% to 48%. In 2016, Hunter defeated Patrick Malloy (D) 63.5% to 36.5%. The 2017 Cook Partisan Voter Index for this district was R+11, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were 11 percentage points more Republican than the national average. Three major race rating outlets view the general as Safe/Solid Republican.

California’s 50th Congressional District is located in the southern portion of the state and includes much of San Diego County and portions of Riverside County.

Click here to learn more about the 2020 50th Congressional District elections