Demonstrators celebrate Congressman Darrell Issa’s announcement that he was retiring. / Photo by Rachel Rott

A new week has brought two more Republicans and one more Democrat into the race to replace Rep. Darrell Issa in California’s 49th Congressional District, meaning the total number of contenders is now 10.

This is going to be a wild ride.

The newest candidates join three Republicans who emerged shortly after the congressman announced plans not to retire on Jan. 10, as well as four Democrats who’d been running against him for months.


The latest Republican is San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Brian Maryott. The Union-Tribune reports that Maryott self-financed his first City Council campaign in 2016 and intends to spend $100,000 of his own money on the congressional race.

Maryott told the U-T that Congress needs to do more to support President Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton carried the county with 57 percent of the vote, compared to Trump’s 37 percent.

With more moderate Republicans running, like Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, the June primary is likely to be a test of GOP re-branding efforts in California. State Board of Equalization chair Diane Harkey is in the running, too, and so is attorney Joshua Schoonover.

Also this week, Voice’s Jesse Marx broke the news that San Diego County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar had established a fundraising committee with the Federal Election Commission to run in the 49th District. Gaspar is the former mayor of Encinitas, and she was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2016. She was once a supporter of President Trump, putting her among the handful of county Republicans.

The day after news broke of her candidacy, Gaspar directed $300,000 from a county fund to be given to local nonprofit groups. The U-T reported that, among the 11 beneficiaries, one is listed as delinquent with the California Attorney General and another is not registered as a non-profit group with the state.

The San Diego County Democratic Party website also lists Christina Prejean as the latest contender on the left. The others are Doug Applegate, Sara Jacobs, Mike Levin and Paul Kerr.

Grant Awarded to Escondido Poses Challenges to City

The Escondido Police Department is considering accepting a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to hire two additional officers for two years.

The catch, as Voice’s Maya Srikrishnan writes, is that accepting the grant may mean implementing policies that rub against a new state law prohibiting local agencies from cooperating with immigration authorities.

The grant was awarded to Escondido after the city promised to cooperate with immigration enforcement by putting policies that let federal authorities know when undocumented immigrants are released from custody.

Escondido has a long history of cooperating with the federal government on immigration and with policies targeting undocumented immigrants.

Srikrishnan writes that the state law restricting local law enforcement from working with federal immigration authorities isn’t quite clear on how it will do just that. There may still be ways for Escondido to accept the grant and cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement while abiding by the new law.

The city is hesitant to accept the grant for budgetary reasons, according to Police Chief Craig Carter.

“For me, I have to determine whether it’s worth spending half a million to get a quarter million,” Carter said. “At the end of the grant, I need to be able to keep those individuals employed. I don’t want to hire a police officer and have to let them go after a few years because of the budget.”

Women’s March in San Marcos

Echoing the themes of last year’s event, the Women’s March in North County drew several thousand protesters back to Mission Avenue in San Marcos.

Many of the signs bore messages against President Trump’s election and behavior toward women, but this year’s event also reflected the broader #MeToo movement and renewed attention to undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children.

One of the event’s organizers told the U-T that the focus was on empowering voters to make a difference, and attendees said a lot more men joined this year.

Also in the News

The Oceanside Planning Commission rejected the latest proposal for a hotel on Oceanside Boulevard near Coast Highway, with one commissioner calling it a case of “spot zoning.” (Union-Tribune)

Poway Councilman Jim Cunningham will retire in June, midway through his term. Cunningham was first elected in 2008. (Union-Tribune)

Oceanside Unified School District Superintendent Duane Coleman also announced he will retire in June. (Union-Tribune)

Leaders from around the region are denouncing plans by the Trump Administration to open up the Pacific Ocean for new oil and gas drilling. (The Coast News)

Republican Thomas Krouse announced that he will again run for the 76th Assembly District, currently held by Rocky Chavez. (Times of San Diego)

People who lost property from the Lilac Fire are now able to receive assistance from FEMA. (KPBS)

A group of Encinitas residents are suing the city over its plans to install a new entry to a city park, off their road. (Union-Tribune)

Ruarri Serpa

Ruarri Serpa is a freelance writer in Oceanside. Email him at and find him on Twitter at @RuarriS.

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