Photo via Difen.com
On June 5 the 49th District consisting of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, Del Mar, Camp Pendleton, Solana Beach and Rancho Santa Fe in San Diego County and San Clemente, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, and Ladera Ranch in Orange County will either “flip the 49th” as the Democrats like to say or keep it Republican. The previous incumbent, Darrell Issa, has been the representative for the 49th since 2001.
Other positions open are Dianne Feinstein’s Senatorial seat, the Governor of California and assortment of other bureaucratic positions.
California runs off of a modified closed primary system wherein the top two candidates regardless of party can be sent off to the general election.
There are eight Republican candidates, four Democratic candidates, and three third-party candidates. California runs on a modified closed primary system, where the top two candidates move to the general election in November, regardless of party affiliation. As of April 12, congressional candidate Rocky Chávez, an Oceanside Republican, is leading the pack at 16 percent of the vote, with Douglas Applegate, a San Diego Democrat at 12 percent.
Chavez is focused on repealing the gas tax, focusing on a bipartisan solution to the housing crisis, investing into small businesses, and a strong national defense. Douglas Applegate is focused on the “flip the 49th” campaign and turning the 49th Congressional District to the Democrats as well with universal healthcare, low-cost college, 15$ an hour minimum wage, and reproductive health choices.
Other positions for the midterm exist as well, most notably for Governor due to Jerry Brown’s end of term and Diane Feinstein’s seat in Senate. Dianne Feinstein is the current incumbent and is the expected front-runner to retain her Senatorial seat.
The race for Governor has a total of 27 primary candidates with three write-in candidates. There are six major gubernatorial candidates to watch out for: Travis Allen, John H. Cox, Antonio Villaraigosa, Diane Eastin, Gavin Newsom, and John Chiang. According to the most recent poll John Cox leads with a 23 percent and Gavin Newsom at 22 percent.
The main divide between the Republicans and Democrats is the gas tax and the situation of DACA and immigration in general. Both Republican candidates seek to repeal the gas tax, one of them, Travis Allen even drafting the petition to repeal it. The criticism of the gas tax ranges from the inefficient use of its funds to its massive increase of California’s already above average gas prices. The Democrats argue, however, that funding the gas tax provides will allow California to invest in more state projects and their plan for universal healthcare.
In terms of DACA and immigration, both parties agree that to some extent DACA recipients should stay in the country but on the issue of immigration a clear divide is formed. Both Cox and Allen believe in removing the sanctuary state policy on their first day of possible office while all the Democratic candidates believe in providing more asylum to immigrants.
During this term of President Trump, this primary and soon to be general election will determine not only California’s economic stances but its alignment with the rest of the United States. To get more information on the primary and its candidates check out Ballotpedia here.