A Crowd Forms in San Diego, Undaunted by Hunter's Legacy
Congressional Quarterly (2007-05-31) Rachel Kapochunas
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More Info: CA 50 Congressional District
By Rachel Kapochunas, CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY
Published: May 31, 2007
California Rep. Duncan Hunter is leaving the House after 14 terms to
seek the 2008 GOP presidential nomination - and guess what? A certain
Duncan D. Hunter is running to succeed him. But in a San Diego district
that's virtually assured of electing the Republican nominee, a bevy of
party hopefuls are lining up to block the family's succession plans in
the 52nd District.
Brian W. Jones, a Republican, recently filed paperwork with the Federal
Election Commission (FEC) to organize a House campaign. Jones plans a
formal candidacy announcement in early July.
Jones told CQPolitics.com in an interview Tuesday that preparing early
for the contest should give him a leg up in fundraising and organization
over other competitors, which he described as the "number one challenge"
in the race. He said his ideology, which includes an opposition to
abortion, same-sex marriage and illegal immigration and support for a
strong national defense, is "right in line with what I believe would be
the majority of the district."
Jones said he called the younger Hunter in early April to let him know
that if he decided to run, "it wasn't a personal thing."
Hunter, who filed paperwork with the FEC in April, serves in the Marine
Corps and was reactivated for service this month and is presently in
Hunter, 30, has no political experience. But his military background
could win him some support in the district, which is home to several
And Hunter has the same name as his father, who was first elected in
1980 and is well-known in and around San Diego. The younger Hunter will
appear on the June primary ballot as "Duncan Hunter," without the middle
Jones, a small business owner who has a background in commercial real
estate sales, was first elected to the Santee city council in 2002. He
said he is banking on his "industry leadership, business leadership and
government leadership" in this race.
Jones said he has been encouraged to run by friends and colleagues and
has lined up backing from "quite a few people," including church
leaders, school board members, fellow city councilors and individuals in
the local business community.
Jones acknowledged that he needs to increase his name recognition beyond
Santee, which with 53,000 residents has less than one-tenth the
population of the 52nd District. The district includes eastern San Diego
and all of the cities of El Cajon and La Mesa.
Jones noted the rare open-seat race has "attracted a lot of attention
and a lot of interest."
At least 10 Republicans are still considered as possible candidates for
the seat. They include Mark Larson, a conservative talk show host;
former state Assemblyman Jay La Suer; and Assemblyman Joel Anderson.
Despite the district's heavy Republican lean - President Bush took 61
percent of the vote in the 52nd three years ago - San Diego Democrats
say they will field a credible candidate.