If you're reading this right now, there's a good chance you live in the 49th congressional district in Southern California. This district stretches from Dana Point in the north all the way to Del Mar in the south (including a big chunk of San Diego County and a smaller piece of Orange County).
Our district is in the early stages of a rather important election season. Our Congressman, Representative Darrell Issa, has announced that he's retiring and will not seek re-election. As a result, 16 candidates have jumped into the race to replace him. Of the 16, two are Democratic front-runners (Doug Applegate and Mike Levin) and two are Republican front-runners (Rocky Chavez and Diane Harkey).
The 49th district has an unusually balanced mix of Republican, Democratic, and Independent voters as measured by registration. Registered Republicans slightly outnumber Democrats but there is a huge block of Independent swing voters which will ultimately decide who will represent us in Congress.
A primary election on June 5th will determine the two candidates that go on to the general election on November 6th. The top two vote-getters will be on the ballot in November regardless of party affiliation. With so many candidates running in a relatively "purple" district, the political landscape is incredibly fragmented and confused... and the stakes are quite high. The 49th District is an important battleground for control of the House of Representatives.
While it may seem like the choice in 2018 is between individual candidates, don't be fooled: The real choice is between the Republican and Democratic visions for the country and the state.
The real choice is between helping President Trump with his agenda or fighting it. Between repealing and replacing Obamacare or protecting, fixing, and expanding it. Between tightening immigration and building a border wall or a more inclusive approach to immigration reform. Between fighting attempts to slow down climate change or taking action now to preserve our planet for future generations. These are the big issues. Not the minor differences between one candidate from the same party or another.
The Democratic candidates all have a lot in common when it comes to their positions on policies and issues. The Republican candidates share their own core values and positions as well. The choice in November should really be between two political philosophies and two visions for the future.
But that choice may be taken away from us.
The odds that the Democrats will get shut out in November are uncomfortably high. Doug Applegate is the current front-runner. Mike Levin is in second place. But Sara Jacobs and Paul Kerr, both late entrants into the race, have vast resources and are not hesitating to use them. They are unlikely to win but could very well pull enough support from Doug Applegate and Mike Levin to make sure that we’ll see Rocky Chavez and Diane Harkey on the ballot in November.
Having two Republicans on the November ballot is a terrible outcome. Not just for Democrats (who would be disenfranchised), but also for independent voters and for moderate Republicans who are looking for change.
This Facebook page, group, and affiliated web site were created to address the problems with the dysfunctional primary.
We are working hard to make sure that a crazy primary season does not deprive voters of a real choice in 2018. The winner in November should reflect the will of all the Californians in the district. That means that we get through the primary with a Democrat on the ballot for November.
We avoid disaster by educating, engaging, and informing voters. How? By getting this message out now:
1. VOTE ON JUNE 5TH!
2. VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC FRONT-RUNNER
In addition to spreading the word, we’ll bring voters news about the race and the candidates as well as discuss the issues with the jungle primary that are creating the potential for a shut-out in November.
We'll report out the results of reputable polls in the district and provide analysis.
Finally, we'll give voters access to lots of information from different sources including candidate campaign web sites (under the Candidate tabs above) and other links under the RESOURCES. These links are a direct line to independent sources for objective candidate profiles, campaign fundraising data, and other important information.
An educated and informed electorate is critical to a healthy democracy.
ABOUT THE 49th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
The 49th congressional district currently covers the northern coastal areas of San Diego County and a few cities in the southern part of Orange County. The district includes the cities of Dana Point, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Del Mar. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is also in the district.
Congressman Darrell Issa (R) currently represents the 49th district. In the 2016 election, Issa won by a margin of less than 1 percentage point (1,621 votes) over challenger Doug Applegate (D). Issa announced he would not seek re-election.
In the 2018 election, this district is considered to be a major battleground that could determine control of the United States House of Representatives. Four Democrats have filed, including 2016 challenger Doug Applegate, Mike Levin, Sara Jacobs, and Paul Kerr. Eight Republicans have also jumped into the race, including Rocky Chavez, Diane Harkey, Kristin Gaspar, Brian Maryott, Joshua Schoonover, Mike Schmitt, David Medway, and Craig Nordal.
All four Democrats are credible candidates. Only three of the eight Republicans have any measure of support: Rocky Chavez, Diane Harkey, and Kristin Gaspar. Chavez and Harkey are polling well ahead of Gaspar.
The primary election is on June 5, 2018. The top two vote-getters in the primary (regardless of party affiliation) will face off in the general election on November 6, 2018.
Voices of the 49th is committed to making sure that voters in the 49th congressional district have a meaningful choice in November... which means engaging, educating, informing, and influencing voters through the jungle primary in June so that a Democrat makes it on to the final ballot.