San Diego real estate investor joins other Democrats challenging Darrell Issa

July 11, 2017

Real estate investor Paul Kerr announced Tuesday that he will challenge nine-term Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), one of the Democrats' top California targets for 2018.

Issa won reelection by a razor-thin margin last November.

In a statement announcing his run, Kerr, 62, emphasized issues affecting lower- and middle-income families, including healthcare, wage stagnation and veterans' services.

He said his mother's struggle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and the fact that he graduated from college with student debt help him relate to the daily struggles voters face. 

"My initial call to action was what I saw coming down the pike as Trump's policies" on healthcare, the environment and immigration, Kerr said in an interview. "But I'm not running simply to bash Trump. My thing is what can I do to help the low-income and middle-class families and to help immigrants."

Kerr will face at least two other Democrats who hope to unseat Issa in the 49th Congressional District: Doug Applegate, a retired Marine Corps colonel who was less than 1,700 votes shy of defeating Issa in 2016, and environmental attorney Mike Levin.

The coastal district, won by Hillary Clinton in last year's presidential race, stretches from Dana Point in Orange County to La Jolla in San Diego County.

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