50th Congressional District

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CONVENES SESSION WITH GREEN BUILDING INDUSTRY LEADERS TO BRING MANUFACTURING JOBS TO EAST COUNTY

 

“We can create at least 6,000 jobs here.” – Pete Beauregard

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2017 (Ramona) – Out of the ashes of the 2007 firestorm in Ramona, Casa Aguilar arose.  The home of Pete  Beauregard and his wife, Amy McQuillan, just won the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 Innovation Award for zero net energy use. It’s also built to withstand wildfires. 

On October 24, Beauregard, a rancher, veteran, ex-rodeo bullrider and candidate for Congress in the 50th Congressional district took the bull by the horns and convened a think tank meeting at his visionary home. The event brought together top green industry leaders to brainstorm ideas for bringing green manufacturing and building jobs to East County.

CAMPA-NAJJAR LEADS IN FUNDRAISING AMONG HUNTER CHALLENGERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Rep. Duncan Hunter and challengers Ammar Campa-Najjar and Josh Butner

October 17, 2017 (San Diego) -- The latest campaign fundraising data available through the Federal Elections Commission revealsthat  two strong Democratic challengers to Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, at least from a financial standpoint, have emerged in the 50th Congressional district: Ammar Campa-Najjar and Josh Butner.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW ZELT, 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CANDIDATE

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

October 17, 2017 (San  Diego’s East County) -- Recently we sat down with Andrew Zelt, a Republican challenger running against Rep. Duncan D. Hunter in the 50th Congressional District. He’s a sergeant in the Sheriff’s Department, where he’s spent his career, and a resident of Rancho San Diego.

Zelt says he’s running because he can no longer support Hunter, who is under investigation by the Justice Department for  allegedly using campaign donations for personal use. (Hunter has denied wrongdoing but did repay his campaign around $60,000 for vacations, payments to his child's school, oral surgery, jewelry and other expenses.)

“My top priority is listening to the people, finding out what are some of the things that affect you, your day to day lives, and then expand on that to the nation," he says, adding, "What are some of your concerns about the way our nation is going?”

  Hear our in-depth interview at the audio link, which originally aired late this summer on KNSJ radio, or scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: JOSH BUTNER, EX- NAVY SEAL OFFICER AND SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEE RUNNING FOR CONGRESS

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

 

September 4, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Josh Butner says he’s running for Congress against Representative Duncan Hunter in the 50th Congressional District to “put people first, not personal profit or special interest politics.” 

A former Navy Seal Lieutenant Commander and current trustee on the Jamul-Dulzura Union School District board, he wants to champion a strong public education, restore integrity, and provide strong leadership on issues ranging from foreign policy to helping military families to combating climate change.

East County Magazine’s Show recently sat down with Butner for an in-depth interview originally aired July 21 on KNSJ radio. Hear the full 42-minute interview by clicking the orange audio link, and scroll down for highlights. He is one of five Democrats in the race; two Republican challengers to Hunter have also announced intentions to run. With Hunter under a federal criminal probem, this race is drawing national attention.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: GLENN JENSEN, CANDIDATE RUNNING AGAINST DUNCAN HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Recently, Glenn Jensen joined us on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ to talk about his candidacy against Rep. Duncan Hunter in the 50th Congressional District.  A Democrat who calls himself a “recovering Republican”, he’s a lifelong resident of the district,  a graduate of Helix High School who raised his family in East County, helped save homes in the Cedar Fire, and works in information technology sales.  You can hear his full interview

Jensen says he’s running to “set this country back on track” with integrity and a progressive but fiscally responsible agenda.  He’s also concerned about the criminal F.B.I. and Justice Department investigations against Hunter. 

“It’s obvious to me he’s been enriching himself …but has not introduced any legislation to benefit his district,” says Jensen, who calls Hunter's lavish spending of campaign funds on personal uses "pretty damn close to embezzlement." Those expenses included a family vacations to Europe, jewelry, dental bills and airfare for the Hunter family's pet rabbit.  (Hunter has denied wrongdoing, but did borrow money to repay $62,000 to his campaign. Hunter has since spent nearly all of his recent campaign contributions on his legal defense.)

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: AMMAR CAMPA NAJJAR, CANDIDATE RUNNING AGAINST DUNCAN HUNTER, WITH BACKGROUND IN CREATING JOBS FOR BOTH LABOR DEPT. AND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

 

 

 “This campaign is about solving economic injustice, regardless of your views or hues. Regardless of whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, pain is pain.”—Ammar Campa-Najjar

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

May  29, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Earlier this month, we sat down for an in-depth interview with Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democrat running for the 50th Congressional  district seat held by Republican Duncan Hunter.  (Hear the full interview, which aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audio link and scroll down for highlights.)

 He has a rare combination of qualifications, with  background in helping promote job creation both as public affairs officer for the Labor Department under President Obama and as director of communications for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

A native San Diegan of Hispanic and Arab descent, he’s also  the son of immigrants and a Christian who’s worked with his church to help working people and  deported veterans.   Now he says he’s running to listen to the problems faced by all people in the district,  use his experience in Washington to bring good-paying jobs to East County including rural areas, and bring “national pride, not national shame” as our region’s representative in Congress.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: NURSE GLORIA CHADWICK SEEKS TO UNSEAT DUNCAN HUNTER TO REMEDY HEALTHCARE AND MORE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audio link, or scroll down for highlights.

April 27, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Gloria Chadwick is a registered nurse who has worked in the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital. She's been elected to serve five terms on the Grossmont Healthcare District Board.  The first woman elected nearly 20 years ago, she's currently Vice President of the healthcare district serving East County. 

At a town hall meeting held by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), she announced plans to challenge him for  his seat – and passed out a pill bottle with her remedy to fix Congress:  “restoring integrity, providing affordable healthcare, creating more jobs, and protecting Medicare and the rights of Veterans.”

Voters couldn’t ask for a greater contrast.  Hunter, at his town hall, said he doesn’t believe healthcare is a right, but merely believes in “access” for those with the ability to pay for it. Chadwick describes herself as a “nurse warrior” who has been a fierce advocate for her patients – and now wants to do battle for constituents across the 50th Congressional District.  In an exclusive interview with East County Magazine aired on KNSJ, she shared her vision for reforming healthcare, strengthening services for veterans and military families, and protecting a clean, healthy environment.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: PIERRE “PETE” BEAUREGARD, RAMONA RANCHER AND EX-MARINE CORPS MEDIC RUNNING AGAINST DUNCAN HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our complete interview by clicking the audio link,  and scroll down for highlights

April 22, 2017 (Ramona) – In an exclusive interview with East County Magazine aired on KNSJ Radio April 3rd,  Pierre “Pete” Beauregard talked about his candidacy challenging Republican Duncan Hunter in the 50th Congressional district.

“My motto is `country over politics,’” says Beauregard, a Ramona rancher,  and formerMarine Corp medic who later helped start a medical clinic to help low-income people.  He’s worked as a cowboy, enjoys hunting and fishing,  and  is  ex-rodeo bull rider who believes  he’s tough enough to take on Hunter and stand up against Washington lobbyists if elected.  ““Once you ride a 2,000 pound bull,” he reflects, “Why in the hell should I be afraid of you?”

Audio: 

VIEW OUR VIDEOS: 7 CANDIDATES SPEAK OUT IN FORUM ON RACE TO REPLACE DUNCAN HUNTER

 

 

Photo:  top left to right:  Ammar Campa-Najjar, Patrick Malloy, Hannah Gbeh, Josh Butner, Gloria Chadwick, Glenn Jensen, Pierre “Pete” Beauregard

By Miriam Raftery

View our videos and post your comments!  Which candidate(s) are strongest and why?  Which might you be most apt to consider voting for, and why?

Part 1: https://youtu.be/pOOQxhTDj5Q

Part 2:  https://youtu.be/kk4H7dNWTPQ

April 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County)—Seven Democratic candidates running  for the seat currently held by Republican Duncan Hunter participated in a lively forum last night hosted by the East County Democratic Club.   After opening statements, by each candidate they fielded questions on women’s rights,  healthcare, public education, protecting minorities, digital privacy, as well as their backgrounds, financing and organizing strengths. Many other issues were also addressed by this diverse and articulate array of candidates seeking to represent the 50th Congressional district.

The field includes a former Navy Seal, a farmer, a nurse, an ex-Navy medic, rural planning board members,   a Hispanic and Arab-American activist in the Obama administration, a realtor, a computer data expert, an environmnetalist, and more -- with several candidates having background in multiple fields.

Watch for our detailed analysis of the forum coming later. 

FILMMAKER TO DOCUMENT “RACE TO REPLACE DUNCAN HUNTER”

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 7, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – A pack of candidates are lining up to challenge Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) for the 50th Congressional seat.  Now, filmmaker  Mike Garcia, has announced that he is producing a documentary titled “The Race to Replace Duncan Hunter.”

Hear our interview with Garcia, originally aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the orange audio link.  Garcia talked about his vision for the film and what key issue he believes could flip this red district blue in 2018—or sooner, should there be a special election if the seat becomes vacant.

Hunter is viewed as vulnerable for the first time in this conservative-leaning district, since he is under investigation by the Justice Department for using some $60,000 of campaign funds for personal expenses.

Audio: 

JUSTICE DEPT. LAUNCHES CRIMINAL PROBE INTO REP. DUNCAN HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal probe into allegations that Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) illegally used campaign finance funds for personal gain, according to a statement issued today by House Committee on Ethics Chairwoman Susan Brooks. (R-Indiana) and Ranking Member Theodore Dutch(D-Florida.)

The statement indicated that the Dept. of Justice has asked  the committee to defer its investigation into potential ethics violations.  The Committee also released  the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE)  report on its findings.  That report reveals that the bipartisan OCE members voted unanimously, 5-0, to recommend that the House Committee on Ethics further review the allegations “because there is  “substantial reason to believe that Rep. Hunter converted campaign funds to personal use to pay expenses that were not legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.”

EAST COUNTY VOTERS ASK HUNTER TO HOLD TOWN HALL MEETING, PLAN WEEKLY PROTESTS AT HIS EL CAJON OFFICE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 10, 2017 (El Cajon) – Across the nation,  members of Congress are drawing large overflow crowds at town hall meetings since the election of President Donald Trump, with many people voicing concerns over various policies.  But Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) has refused  a request from constituents who presented a petition Tuesday with 500 signatures asking for a town hall meeting with their Congressman.

HEAR OUR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH PATRICK MALLOY, DEMOCRAT CHALLENGING HUNTER

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 24,2016 (San Diego) – Patrick Malloy is the endorsed Democratic candidate challenging  Congressman Duncan D. Hunter in the 50th Congressional District.  A realtor running on a platform of “reigniting the American Dream,” he sat down for an exclusive, in-depth interview with the East County Magazine Show originally aired on KNSJ Radio. 

You can hear the full interview by clicking the blue buttons at the bottom of our story for part 1 and part 2 (sound files may take a few moments to load.)  You can also scroll down to read highlights of his proposals for creating jobs in the district and rebuilding the middle class and helping small businesses, as well as his views on the Middle East, refugees, immigration and other hot topics.

Audio: 

EXCLUSIVE! ECM RADIO INTERVIEW WITH JAMES KIMBER, 50TH CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, NOW ONLINE

 

 

Listen to our full interview here (it may take a few moments to load): http://k007.kiwi6.com/hotlink/cofd06nvhi/Newsmaker-Kimber-James-.mp3 . For highlights, click “read more” and scroll down.

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – East County Magazine invited both candidates for the 50th Congressional District to be interviewed on our radio show.  Congressman Duncan D. Hunter did not respond, but we did sit down for an in-depth interview with his opponent, Navy veteran and medical professional James Kimber, who talked about his views on topics including Social Security, healthcare, education, veterans, women's issues, bringing jobs to the district, student loans, energy issues, the Iraq and Syria conflicts, and the need to bring back compromise and end the partisan divide in Congress. 

Kimber has served in the healthcare field for 30 years, currently as a physician assistant specializing in neurosurgery. Asked why he’s running for Congress, he states, “I see the inaction going on within Congress. There are a lot of issues facing this country and some of them are very serious right now, but Congress has stepped back and they’re not working together very well right now.”

HOMELAND SECURITY: HUNTER CLAIMS OF ISIS ARRESTS AT U.S. BORDER ARE “FALSE”

 

 

"The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any evidence."--Marsha Catron, Homeland Security

By Miriam Raftery

October 8, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon) is drawing flack on national news media for claiming on Fox News  that ISIS (also known as ISIL) terrorists have been apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border. ( View video.)  Multiple sources within Homeland Security and Mexico now insist that Hunter is wrong.

Hunter told Greta Van Sustern on Fox News that “I know that at least 10 ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the Mexican border in Texas.” He said he got the information from a confidential Border Patrol source.

IN HEATED DEBATE, VETS BATTLE FOR 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SEAT

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear audio of the complete debate at the links below. (Note, these may take a few moments to load.)  Or click "read more" and scroll down for details and highlights.

 

October 2, 2014 (Rancho San Diego)—Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran,  and challenger James Kimber, a former Navy corspman and current physician assistant in neurosurgery, took the stage September 26th at Cuyamaca College in a contentious yet civil debate.  Voters have a clear choice in this race, in which the candidates clashed on nearly every issue. While finding common ground on the importance of fighting terrorism and protecting the backcountry against massive energy projects that threaten rural communities and public safety, the two contenders offered contrasting views on nearly everything else, from budget priorities to climate change to the role of government itself.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE JAMES KIMBER TREATS HOMELESS VETERANS AT STAND DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 20, 2014 (San Diego)—Many politicians talk about helping our veterans. But James Kimber, a physician assistant and candidate for California’s 50th Congressional District, actually  donned scrubs and gave medical treatment to homeless veterans during San Diego’s 27th annual Stand Down event on July 18.

As the Senior Medical Officer aboard two combat warships (USS ELLIOT DD-967, USS REID FFG-30), Kimber is all too familiar with Emergency Medicine and treating those who have served.  He spent 20 years in active duty in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Senior Chief Hospital Corspman. Currently he is a Physician Assistant practicing neurosurgery at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.

Kimber says he is is alarmed at how veteran’s needs are being neglected and feels we as a country owe them more. He worked Stand Down last year as a provider and was shocked at some of the patients he treated.

DUELING VETERANS CLASH ON HEALTHCARE, VETERANS ISSUES AND MORE

 

 

 

By Jessica Richmond and Miriam Raftery

 

 

Duncan Hunter and James Kimber do battle for Reps and Dems; Libertarian Michael Benoit also in  race

 

June 1, 2014 (San  Diego)-- Congressman Duncan D. Hunter(R) will face off against two other opponents, Democrat James Kimber, a  Navy veteran and retired Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman/ current neurosurgery physician assistant, as well as Libertarian Michael Benoit,  a retired business owner.

Due to the California Top Two Candidates Open Primary Act, the top-two-vote-getters  in the California 50th Congressional District will then square-off  in an all-out battle in November.  This Tuesday’s Primary election represents the opportunity for voters to decide whether to back fiscal austerity on domestic programs and a big military budget with the Republican candidate, the  Libertarian candidate who aims to shrink government, or the Democrat, who wants to make healthcare, veterans’ issues and immigration reforms his top priorities.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE JAMES KIMBER ENDORSED BY CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY AT CONVENTION

 

March 12, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--James H. Kimber, Democratic candidate for California’s 50th Congressional District office currently held by Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), received the official endorsement of the California Democratic Party at the state convention in Los Angeles this past weekend.

REP. HUNTER BACKS USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS IF AIR STRIKE IS LAUNCHED AGAINST IRAN

 

East County Rep also calls Middle Easterners liars, draws fire for remarks

By Miriam Raftery

December 8, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) Updated 8:40 p.m. – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has long been known as a hawk on military matters.   But in an interview on CSPAN’s Washington Journal this week, the former Marine went further, voicing support for use of "tactical nuclear devices" if the U.S. launches an air strike against Iran. He backed use of tactical, or non-strategic nuclear weapons to set Iran's reported effort at developing a nuclear weapon "back a decade, or two or three."

Hunter, whose San Diego region district includes over 80,000 Middle Eastern immigrants, also ignited controversy when he stated,”In the Middle Eastern culture, it is looked upon with very high regard to get the best deal possible, no matter what it takes. That includes lying.”  (View video of full interview.)

A LOOK AT DUNCAN HUNTER’S RECORD

November 3, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Four years after winning election  to replace his father in the House of Representatives, what sort of record  has Congressman Duncan D. Hunter amassed in Washington?   To help voters assess Rep. Hunter’s two terms, ECM has taken a look at his voting record, legislation, campaign finances,  campaign promises, and ratings from a variety of interest groups ranging from senior citizens, women and immigrant groups to business groups, educators, labor, gun rights, environmental, and veterans organizations.

Hunter refused to participate in any debates against his opponent, David Secor since the primary election. Secor interviewed with ECM and asserts that Hunter has ignored the needs of middle class voters and those who struggling in his district, also taking extreme stances on women's and senior's issues. 

Hunter, a combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, failed to respond to interview requests from ECM and other prominent East County media. He also failed to provide information to the League of Women Voters for its nonpartisan SmartVoter site.  He has not held a single live town hall meeting in his district .  Locally, his appearances have been largely restricted to Chamber of Commerce and Tea Party events, as well as Republican fundraisers.  

Below is the information on his record that we’ve compiled based on nonpartisan independent sources and his own legislative office.

HUNTER CANCELS ONLY DEBATE, SECOR ACCUSES CONGRESSMAN OF HIDING FROM VOTERS TO MASK "EXTREMIST" POSITIONS

Secor to host town hall forum Oct. 23 to field questions directly from voters, challenges Hunter to show up

UPDATE: Location of the forum has changed due to a car damaging the original venue. The town hall will be held at the Escondido  Library, 239 S. Kalmia Street in Escondido.

"No voter's question should go unanswered," said Secor, who invites voters to email questions to him at David@DavidSecorforCongress.com.  The event will be filmed, and the video posted at www.DavidSecorforCongress.com

READER’S EDITORIAL: DUNCAN HUNTER BELIEVES CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE—WOMEN ARE NOT

By David Secor, candidate, 50th Congressional District

October 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--For women, and men who love them, their choice for Congress in District 50 could not be more important.  Our Congressman, Duncan D. Hunter, is committed to denying basic rights to women, our daughters and granddaughters.  Rights won after over a century of struggle.

 This “Duncan Hunter” is the son of Duncan Hunter, well-known former Congressman.  Unlike his father, this Duncan Hunter is not a real Republican, but an extremist ideologue bent on making his very personal religious views into federal law.

4 CANDIDATES—AND AN EMPTY CHAIR—TAKE STAGE AT 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT DEBATE IN RAMONA

 By Nadin Abbott

 
April 14, 2012 (Ramona)—Four candidates seeking the 50th Congressional District seat offered contrasting views on key issues in a lively debate last week.  Conspicuously absent, however, was incumbent Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), who has thus far missed all in a series of debates held across East County. 

READER’S EDITORIAL: APPALLING FACTS

 

By Connie Frankowiak, candidate, 50th Congressional District
 
March 14, 2012 (Julian)--The U.S. soldier who had that mental breakdown and killed all those Afghans reveals what happens when men are given long tours of combat duty one after another without enough leave time. The soldier involved already had a serious brain injury and was displaying serious mental problems and should have been in a veterans hospital receiving intensive care instead of a combat zone.

 

“WORKING MAN” ENTERS RACE FOR CONGRESS: DAVID SECOR CHALLENGES HUNTER ON JOBS, SOCIAL SECURITY, EAST COUNTY POVERTY AND MORE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 9, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – “I’ve been a working man for 40 years,” says David Secor, a military veteran and resident of Crest who has thrown his hat in the ring as a Democratic candidate for the Congressional seat held currently by Republican Duncan D. Hunter.

“I am running to support the working men and women of this district…to be the representative of all the people in the district and to restore the American dream for all of our citizens.” (View a video of Secor speaking on addressing joblessness: http://www.davidsecorforcongress.com/jobvid.html)

READER’S EDITORIAL: BRIAN BILBRAY HAS NOT ENDED THE ERA OF BACKROOM DEALS

 

“Voters in San Diego’s 50th District, do we have another Randy “Duke” Cunningham on our hands?”

 

By Tracy Emblem

We need to hold our elected officials' feet to fire and make them responsible when their actions fall short of their words.

EDITORIAL: CONGRESSMAN BILBRAY SIDE STEPS INVESTIGATION INTO THOUSANDS OF HEALTH CARE-RELATED DEATHS


As Congress holds its hearing about Toyota recalls, and Rep. Brian Bilbray recently toured a Toyota dealership in Carlsbad, we need to ask a simple question. Why has Congress sat silently by while the private insurance industry has rushed to gouge us with exorbitant premium increases?

 

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