Update March 9, 2018: Carl DeMaio announced that he won't be turning in papers by the filing deadline today to run against Rep. Duncan Hunter. In an e-mail to supporters, he wrote, “While I, too, am frustrated with the lack of results and the double-standards for Washington politicians, I believe the Gas Tax Repeal Initiative campaign and our plans for subsequent reform initiatives in California are so much more important,” Times of San Diego reports.
By Miriam Raftery
March 8, 2018 (San Diego) – Former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio has pulled papers to run in the 50th Congressional District currently represented by fellow Republican Duncan D. Hunter.
DeMaio served one term on the Council from 2008 to 2012. He has previously run for mayor and lost to Bob Filner. He also ran for Congress previously but was defeated by Scott Peters, who currently serves in the 52nd District.
There is no requirement to live in the district when running for Congress, unlike other local races.
DeMaio, a conservative, is known for his efforts on pension reforms and is currently leading efforts to repeal a statewide gas tax. He also hosts a radio show on KOGO.
In a statement, he said, ““I appreciate all the San Diegans who have reached out to me to encourage me to run for Congress. If we want better results from government, we must first start by fixing Congress and holding them accountable when they violate the public’s trust.”
Hunter is under a Justice Department criminal investigation into allegations that he spent campaign funds for personal use. Despite that cloud, he received endorsement from the California and San Diego County Republican parties.
DeMaio has faced misconduct allegations of his own. Two former staffers, Justin Harper and Todd Bosnich, prevouisly accused DeMaio of sexual misconduct. DeMaio denied the claims and said Bosnich had been fired for plaguerism. Bosnich, former campaign policy director, later admitting to faking threatening emails he had claimed were from DeMaio and pled guilty to obstruction of justice. Harper claimed DeMaio committed sexual misconduct in a restroom; similarly, in 2013, then-Councilman Ben Hueso, a Democrat, claimed to have seen DeMaio twice masturbating in a public restroom, an allegation DeMaio called a “vicious rumor.”
Friday is the date by which all candidacy filings must be completed. In addition to DeMaio and Hunter, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and businessman Shamus Sayed are also vying for the seat as Republicans. Andrew Zelt, also a Republican, announced today that he is dropping out and has endorsed Mayor Wells.
Democrats in the race include Ammar Campa-Najjar, a former Labor Department official who has also worked with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Josh Butner, a former Navy Seal and current member of the Jamul-Dulzura Union School District board.