By Michael Howard
February 7, 2024 (San Diego, CA) - The 2024 California March Primaries ballot are in the mailboxes of many voters, including the residents of the 48th Congressional District, where the Republican incumbent Darrell Issa is vying for his second term.
Issa has been in San Diego politics since 1998 when he ran for the U.S. Senate and lost to Matt Fong during the primaries. In 2000, he won the District 49 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and has also served in the same capacity for districts 48 and 50 in the ensuing years.
As the incumbent for District 48, Issa votes primarily along conservative lines, achieving a minimum of 82% or higher with most conservative political organizations such as the American Conservative Union, Christian Action Network, and Heritage Action for America. Conversely, his votes received zero to only 13% ratings with liberal organizations such as Americans for Democratic Action, Freedom Democrats, and Radical Middle.
Issa faces five candidates across the political spectrum this election, including four Democrats and a no-party-preference candidate. Three of the five are candidates he beat in the 2022 election for his current seat, the other two are first-time contenders. The top two in the March 5 primary will advance to a November runoff race.
Stephen Houlahan (D) was the closest contender in 2022, whom Issa beat in the general election by a 20% margin. Matthew Rascon (D) lost to Issa during the primaries with 9.1% of the votes along with the no-party-preference candidate Lucinda KWH Jahn with only 1.6% of the votes. Two new contenders this year are Mike Simon (D) and Whitney Shanahan (D).
Photo: The four candidates who participated in our questionnaire; top left to lower right, Democrats Stephen Houlahan,Mike Simonand Whiney Shanahan, and decline-to-state party candidates Lucinda KWH Jahn.
East County Magazine reached out to all candidates asking them to answer questions about the economy, immigration, healthcare, democracy, the Israel-Hammas and Russia-Ukraine wars, social security, and more. Four of the six candidates submitted their answers, which we have included in this article. Phone calls and emails to Congressman Issa and Matthew Rascon were not successful in obtaining answers to these questions.
Here are the questions and answers from the candidates: