Nine candidates running in California’s 50th Congressional District top-two 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 (R), who had represented the district since 2013, resigned Jan. 13, 2020, after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds.

The top two finishers in the primary will advance to the Nov. 3, 2020, general election. One Democrat and one Republican have advanced from the primary in every election since the state began using top-two primaries in 2012.

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).

San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond and Former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock have endorsed DeMaio. U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R) endorsed Issa, who retired from representing the 49th Congressional District in 2019. The California Republican Assembly, the San Diego Police Officers Association, and the Peace Officers Research Association of California endorsed Jones.

Campa-Najjar advanced to the general election in 2018 and lost to Hunter 52% to 48%. 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 Jan. 31, 2020, but her name will still appear on the ballot.

The 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. Race raters have given Republicans an edge in the general election. All 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.

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