More candidates take on Reps. Issa, Hunter, Peters

July 13, 2017

Original Article in San Diego Union Tribune

San Diego House members are facing new challengers in next year’s election, with three new candidates announcing their campaigns.

Democrat Paul Kerr, a real estate investor, has announced he’s running against Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista. He the third Democrat in that race after last year’s election where the incumbent won a ninth-term by a razor-thin margin.

Republican Andrew Zelt, a sergeant in the Sheriff’s Department, declared he’s running against Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine. At least six Democrats have said they’re running, but Zelt is the only Republican so far.

49th Congressional District

Kerr, a Vietnam-era Navy veteran who is now the president of resident of the real estate firm Davlyn Investments, is running in the 49th Congressional District, which spans from La Jolla to Dana Point in Orange County.

Kerr said his campaign is focusing on issues that matter to the middle class, including health care, and student loan debt.

“The struggles that Americans are facing today aren’t abstract concepts, they’re deeply personal,” he said.

His family has worried that his mother would lose her health insurance after she was diagnosed with ALS, a neurological illness commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He had to work as he studied at San Diego State University and took out loans. He has also assisted nieces and nephews with their tuition so they could start their adult lives without debt.

“If I’m in Congress and I’m talking about a bill that will help the middle class, I’m in favor,” he said. “If it’s going to harm the middle class, I’m against it.”

Last year Issa was re-elected by 1,621 votes, beating Democrat Doug Applegate by the closest margin in any congressional race in the country. The Republican party has 37.7 percent of registered voters in the district, while Democrats have 31 percent. Another 27 percent do not belong to a political party. Applegate is running again, and Democrat Mike Levin is also in the race.

Issa’s campaign said the three Democrats are running to the “hyper-left” to get through the primary, while the congressman is focused on his work in the House.

“Congressman Issa is going to be focused on doing what really matters: working hard as one of the single most effective legislators in Congress and getting good legislation passed to improve the lives of people here in California,” spokesman Calvin Moore said.

Working Families First 49th Congressional District