James Elia

ELIA LEADING WILKES IN RACE TO CHALLENGE VOEPEL FOR ASSEMBLY SEAT

 

Update June 6, 2018 -- Across both San Diego and Riverside County, with 100% of precincts tallied but not late mail-in or provisional ballots, according to the Califiornia Secretary of State the results are:  Randy Voepel 44.5%,  James Elia 31.3%, and Larry Wilske 24.2%.

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jonathan Goetz, who also contributed to this report

June 5, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- In the 71st Assembly district held by  Republican Randy Voepel, with 15.3% of precincts counted, Voepel is on top in San Diego County with 44.13% but Democratic challenger James Elia is in second with 32.2% of the vote among the roughly 34,000 ballots tallied so far. 

Republican challenger Larry Wilske, a retired Navy Seal, had attacked Voepel with accusation of stolen valor, claiming Voepel inflated his military record.

In conservative Riverside County, which has a small percentage of voters, Wilske is actually ahead of the incumbent. Among Riverside's roughly 3,000 votes counted thus far, Wilske has 35.26%, followed by  Elia at 33.17%, and Voepel at just 31.57%. Voepel has strongest name recognition in East County, where he formerly served as mayor of Santee.

"We laid it all on the line, we've knocked on as many doors as we can and we look forward to the end of the night and we're confident we're going to November," Elia, an accountant, said tonight.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: LARRY WILSKE, RETIRED NAVY SEAL RUNNING FOR ASSEMBLY

 

 

May 18, 2018 (San Diego's East County)-- Larry Wilske is a retired Navy Seal, running as a Republican challenger to incumbent Randy Voepel in the 71st Assembly district. Voepel, also a Republican, is facing allegations of "stolen valor" or inflating his military record.

Wilske belives integrity is the core issue in his race against Voepel. In our interview aired originally on KNSJ Radio, Wilske talks about the ethics concerns, as well as his stances on issues impacting California statewide such as education, sanctuary state laws, and healthcare.

A resident of Descanso in San Diego's East County, he also shared his views on rural issues including fire preparedness, water, power shut offs and jobs.  Hear our full interview with Larry Wilske by clicking here.

Audio: 

Larry Wilske, 71st Assembly candidate

STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ENDORSES CAMPA-NAJJAR AND ELIA IN KEY EAST COUNTY RACES; DECLINES TO ENDORSE IN TOP STATEWIDE CONTESTS

STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ENDORSES CAMPA-NAJJAR AND ELIA IN KEY EAST COUNTY RACES; DECLINES TO ENDORSE IN TOP STATEWIDE CONTESTS

By Miriam Raftery

February 26, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – At the California Democratic Convention held in San Diego over the weekend, an overwhelming 97 percent of delegates voted to endorse Ammar Campa-Najjar in the June primary race for the 50th Congressional District seat held by Congressman Duncan Hunter.  Campa-Najjar, a former Labor Department official with many local Democratic club endorsements, won the endorsement over former Navy Seal Josh Butner.

In other local Congressional races, the party endorsed incumbents Susan Davis, Juan Vargas and Scott Peters, but failed to reach consensus in an endorsement in the hotly contested 49th Congressional district seat left open by the retirement of Darrell Issa.

The state party also officially endorsed James Elia, who is running for the East County Assembly seat held by Republican Randy Voepel, as well as endorsing incumbents Shirley Weber and Ben Hueso in East County’s state Senate seats up for reelection in 2018.

The party decided to remain neutral, however, issuing no endorsement in several prominent statewide races including Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General as well as U.S. Senate.

That decision came as a rebuke to long-serving Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has served in the Senate for 25 years but now faces a challenge from Kevin De Leon, a state Senator from Los Angeles.  Critics contend that Feinstein hasn’t stood up forcefully enough against President Donald Trump’s policies, though as a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee she posed tough questions in the Trump Russia probe and has been a leading voice calling for restoring the assault weapons ban that she authored, which Congress allowed to expire. De Leon had sought to win endorsement, a rarity against an incumbent, but fell short of the 60 percent required.

With Governor Jerry Brown stepping down due to term limits, the gubernatorial primary race on the Democratic side of the aisle pits Gavin Newsom, current Lieutenant Governor and former San Francisco Mayor, against State Treasurer John Chiang, Assembly Speaker and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Delaine Eastin, former Assembly member and past Superintendent of Public Instruction. For details on these candidates as well as Republican contenders, see http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-california-governor-list-2018-htmlstory.html.

The Lieutenant Governor seat is also open. Delegates gave 42 percent of votes to State Senator Ed Hernandez of Azusu and 41 percent to former Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, with neither getting enough for a pre-primary endorsement.

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is termed out of that office and is running for Attorney General against incumbent Xavier Becerra.  Jones got 56 percent to Becerra’s 42 percent, but still not enough to reach the 60 percent threshold required for a state party endorsement.

The party did issue these endorsements for other statewide offices:

Secretary of State: Alex Padilla

Treasurer: Fiona Ma

Controller: Betty Yee

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony Thurmond

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: Ammar Campa-Najjar with supporters at state Democratic convention, via his Facebook page

February 26, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – At the California Democratic Convention held in San Diego over the weekend, an overwhelming 97 percent of delegates voted to endorse Ammar Campa-Najjar in the June primary race for the 50th Congressional District seat held by Congressman Duncan Hunter.  Campa-Najjar, a former Labor Department official with many local Democratic club endorsements, won the endorsement over former Navy Seal Josh Butner. 

Campa-Najjar, Butner and other contenders will face El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, a Republican, as well as embattled Congressman Hunter and potentially other challenges, with the filing deadling fast appraoching on March 9th. Hunter is viewed as vulnerable by many political experts due to the federal criminal investigation into allegations of misusing campaign funds for personal use and other controversies.

EL CAJON POLICE ARREST PEOPLE FOR FEEDING HOMELESS IN WELLS PARK ON MLK WEEKEND

 

By Paul Kruze and Miriam Raftery

Photo: Screenshot from video on James Elia’s Facebook page

 

January 14, 2018 (El Cajon)—Defying a city of El Cajon ban on feeding homeless people in public places,  a dozen individuals including a 14-year-old minor were arrested and given misdemeanor citations by El Cajon Police today, then released.

The feeding was one of many held around the country this weekend to carry on the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who in a 1964 lecture to Nobel laureates voiced concerns about those who “have no houses or beds to sleep in.“ Rev. King added, “If we feel this as a profound moral fact, we cannot be content to see men hungry, to see men victimized with starvation and ill health, when we have the means to help them.”

El Cajon’s City Council voted to adopt a temporary ban on feeding the homeless in public places during the countywide hepatitis emergency declaration, since there have been many cases among the homeless in the outbreak, which county health officials believe originated in El Cajon.

ASSEMBLY CANDIDATE JAMES ELIA SUPPORTS INVESTIGATION OF OUTAGES PLANNED BY SDG&E

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 9, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – 71st Assembly candidate James Elia is speaking to support an investigation into the SDG&E planned power outages in December that left many thousands of residents across the county without electricity, in some cases for a full week.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: JAMES ELIA, ASSEMBLY CANDIDATE RUNNING AGAINST RANDY VOEPEL

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 21, 2017 (San Diego's East County) -- Last week, East County Magazine sat down with James Elia, a Democrat running in the 71st Assembly district against Republican Assemblyman Randy Voepel. Hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audio link.

Elia, an accountant, has set his sights on establishing a state bank -- a goal he estimates would bring in enough revenues to fund universal healthcare for all Californians. 

He is running on a populist platform that includes creating more affordable housing in East County, bringing economic development and good-paying jobs to the 71st Assembly district.

Audio: 

James Elia interview on 71st Assembly candidacy