By Barbara Zaragoza
Here’s a primer for the federal candidates:
President of the United States
We will, of course, be voting for President. I defer to my colleague, Doug Porter, for that. He covers the Presidential election as well as other important election coverage. Don’t miss Starting Line every morning by Doug. Subscribe here.
United States Senators and The Jungle Primary
Don’t let the Presidential race overshadow your research on our next Senator.
In January 2015, Boxer announced that she would not run for a fifth term.
Under California’s nonpartisan blanket primary law, all candidates appear on the same ballot, regardless of party. In the primary, voters may vote for any candidate, regardless of their party affiliation. The top two finishers — regardless of party — advance to the general election in November. (Because all candidates run against each other, this is sometimes called a “jungle primary.”)
With Boxer retiring, this will be California’s first open seat Senate election in 24 years and the primary is crowded with names, including California Attorney General Kamala Harris & Loretta Sanchez (Democrats) as well as Tom Del Beccaro & Georg “Duf” Sundheim (Republicans).
Currently, Harris and Sanchez are leading in the polls. (KPBS ran an article about Harris recently.) Due to the “jungle primary” election rules, two democrats could move ahead to the November election if they receive the largest number of votes. However, poll numbers have remained the same since last September. The Los Angeles Times reports that the Presidential election is overshadowing the Senate race. That might be a rather dangerous decision on the part of voters. While Presidential races get more media exposure, Senators and their work tend to affect us far more.
U.S. House of Representatives
The South Bay has three U.S. House of Representatives, depending on where you live. To find out more, go to the U.S. House of Representatives website and type your zip code in the upper right-hand corner. Click GO and the name of your representative will appear. Your Congressmember could be:
Duncan Hunter (R), District 50 (parts of Chula Vista)
Susan Davis (D), District 53 (Bonita & Chula Vista)
Juan Vargas (D), District 51 (National City, IB & Chula Vista)
The U.S. House of Representatives impact our households and our communities much more than the President of the United States. Who we vote for also changes the balance of power within the House.
All three of our Congress members are up for elections. Take a look at their contenders. They have quite a bit of competition. So who to choose?
From OpenSecrets.org, it looks like the incumbents from each district have already raised the most amount of money. In District 50, Duncan Hunter has raised $574,226, while all the rest have raised $0. Juan Vargas has raised $425,215, with Juan Hidalgo (R) raising a mere $3,333. The District 53 race looks only somewhat closer with Susan Davis raising $175,258 and her nearest rival, James Veltmeyer (R) raising $60,932.
As of April 1, 2016, The Cook Political Report says that 206 Republicans and 174 Democrats have solid seats. There are only a handful of competitive races with 23 Republicans and 10 Democrats who might loose their seats. The most competitive races threaten a mere 22 seats total, of those 18 are incumbent Republicans and 4 are incumbent Democrats. That means, the number of Republicans vs. Democrats in the House could hang in the balance this election cycle.
I myself find clicking on the candidate names and checking out their websites a starting point to understanding where they stand on issues. Don’t knock these personal websites. It’s like meeting someone for the first time; you come away with a strong impression. Here are the website links to competing candidates:
Incumbent, Duncan Hunter (R). (He was recently in the San Diego Union Tribune.)
Patrick Malloy (D)
Incumbent, Juan Vargas (D)
Juan Hidalgo (R)
Incumbent, Susan Davis (D)
James Veltmeyer (R)
Jim Ash (R)
Matt Mendoza (R)
Need A Cheat Sheet Based On Party Lines?
If you really don’t want to read my forthcoming South Bay voting guide primers (tomorrow will be about reps in the State of California), then you can always check out what the San Diego County parties are suggesting: