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Lorie Zapf has some problems. Even the man who just gave her $20,000 recognizes that.

Local Republican Party head Tony Krvaric acknowledged the string of news that has dogged Zapf, a District 6 San Diego City Council candidate, hasn’t helped her campaign. But the party is so behind Zapf it made an unprecedented donation to her campaign last week.

“You show me the perfect candidate,” Krvaric said. “There is no perfect candidate out there. Lorie Zapf’s heart is in the right place. She’s a taxpayer advocate.”

Zapf attracted criticism about anti-gay e-mails, filing lawsuits despite leading an anti-frivolous lawsuit organization and most recently falling behind on her home payments.

Krvaric expected Zapf’s opponents to take advantage of what he called her “personal issues.”

“Do these things help?” he said. “No, of course they don’t help. The other team will cast that in a bad light, and frankly we would too if we were in their position.”

But Krvaric stopped short of saying her problems with her mortgage were a way for her to connect with the average voter who was going though economic troubles, like a Republican Central Committee member did this week. The committee member, Krvaric said, did not speak for the party.

Voters’ choice in the race, Krvaric said, is clear. He predicted that Zapf and former Democratic state Assemblyman Howard Wayne will beat out District 6’s other three candidates in the June 8 primary and make the November runoff election. At that point he said voters will see Wayne is for higher spending and Zapf isn’t.

“It is very simple,” Krvaric said. “It’s a binary choice.”

District 6 includes the city’s Mission Valley, Clairemont, Kearny Mesa, Serra Mesa and Linda Vista neighborhoods. Other candidates include Steve Hadley, chief of staff for termed-out Councilwoman Donna Frye; Ryan Huckabone, a businessman; and Kim Tran, a paralegal.

— LIAM DILLON

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