REGION — The big news was that no Republican candidate running for California’s 50th congressional seat was endorsed by the county party.
During a marathon session on Oct. 14, the San Diego County Republican Party voted to endorse of number of candidates, but did not select one in the 50th District, which features the controversial Duncan Hunter, Carl de Maio and others.
The primary is March 3, 2020, as California moved up its primary from June to have more sway in national elections.
However, the SDCGOP did endorse Brian Maryott as he prepares to take on Democratic incumbent Mike Levin in the 40th Congressional District, which spans from parts southern Orange County to North County.
An endorsement from the county party is critical to the potential success and ability to compete for those seats, as it opens up cash from the party’s coffers to support those candidates.
“We will win in November,” Maryott said. “Mike Levin has broken the trust of many voters in our district. When he ran in 2018, Levin won by pretending to be a moderate. Now that he has a congressional record, he can’t hide his true self: he’s the most reckless and extreme freshman member of the California delegation.”
Other North County endorsements approved include incumbent Kristin Gaspar in the District 3 of county Board of Supervisors race, incumbent Marie Waldron for State Assembly District 75, Melanie Burkholder in the State Assembly District 76 race, Mike Morasco to retain his seat in District 4 on the Escondido City Council, along with Ed Musgrove in District 4 for San Marcos City Council.
In Carlsbad, the party endorsed Tracy Carmichael, Keith Blackburn and Phil Urbina for the city’s open council seats. Carmichael is eyeing the open District 1 seat on the council vacated by Democrat Barbara Hamilton, who resigned two weeks ago.
The council can appoint a replacement or call for a special election, while residents can also call for a special election by gathering the required number of verified signatures.
Burkholder said she is optimistic the AD 76 can be flipped back by the Republicans in 2020. The GOP did not have a candidate in 2018 as Democrat incumbent Tasha Boerner Horvath and Elizabeth Warren, also a Democrat, advanced to the general election.
Regardless, Burkholder said the district is about split about evenly between Democrats, Republicans and independents, although the area has long been a stronghold for conservatives.
“I knew going into I was going to have to fight every one of those central committee votes,” Burkholder said. “It opens up some funding because people want to give to the viable candidate. It’s absolutely a winnable seat.”
As for the Democrats, they did not endorse in one of the more high-profile races, the District 3 Board of Supervisors. In the running are Terra Lawson-Remer, a former Obama administration official, and Olga Diaz, a longtime Escondido city councilwoman. Neither picked up the endorsement, but both were rated qualified. According to SDCDP Chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, the party will endorse whoever emerges from the primary to challenge Gaspar in the general election.
He said the seat is winnable, along with holding the 49th and 76th seats.
As for municipal races in North County, no city has a primary, so the county party has not levied any endorsements. The county party, meanwhile, will not endorse state or federal officials at this point, but piggybacks on the county central committee endorsements as those are partisan races versus non-partisan, such as city council or school board.
As for the municipal races, Rodriguez-Kennedy said there are 19 designated winnable for the Democrats.
“We are expecting a good year for Democrats of California having an early primary and an early primary at that,” he added. “We think we can take the County Board of Supervisors … we believe we can gain some traction in the North County cities, such as Vista, San Marcos and Oceanside, et cetera.”
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.