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Democrats Tighten Field In Race For 49th Congressional District

Christina PreJean, said she will drop out of the race for the 49th Congressio...

Credit: Flip the 49th, Neighbors in Action

Above: Christina PreJean, said she will drop out of the race for the 49th Congressional District, March 2, 2018.

Christina PreJean, one of five Democrats running to replace incumbent Republican Darrell Issa in the 49th Congressional District, has dropped out of the race.

Prejean, a former Air Force captain, was applauded when she announced her decision at a forum put on by Indivisible and the Flip the 49th campaign.

"In the military, we say, ‘One team, one fight,’ and our focus is always on the mission," PreJean told the audience. “Our mission here is to flip the 49th. That’s why, with such a crowded field of candidates in this race, I’ve decided the best way for me to accomplish this mission is to step out of the race, to better ensure our chances of flipping the 49th.”

RELATED: 'Viability' Forum Challenges Congressional Candidates To Show Road To Victory

The forum was designed to narrow the field to give Democrats a better chance of winning at least one of the top two places in the June Primary. The 49th is a key race for Democrats hoping to take back the House. They face several strong Republican candidates, and voter registrations in the district remain marginally more Republican than Democrat.

PreJean was running last among the Democrats in a poll commissioned by the Flip the 49th campaign. At the forum, a pollster from FM3, which conducted the poll, presented an analysis of the data from a survey of likely voters of both parties in the district.

Photo credit: Flip the 49th, Neighbors in Action

Democrat Mike Levin has the candidates table to himself at the Flip the 49th campaign "viability forum," March 2, 2018.

PreJean and Orange County attorney Mike Levin were the only two candidates to show up to the March 2 forum at the Ocean Hills Country Club in Oceanside.

The other three candidates announced on the day of the forum that they would not attend, disappointing several hundred supporters who had filled the hall to see the candidates. The goal was to determine which candidates are the most viable.

Sarah Jacobs and Paul Kerr cited possible legal issues as their reasons for not attending. By law super PACs cannot coordinate with the campaigns of individual candidates.

RELATED: Democrats Looking To Thin Crowded Field In Race For 49th Congressional District

Doug Applegate held a gathering of supporters at Bagby’s brewery in Oceanside. Applegate said he did not need a pollster to tell him he is the front-runner.

The Flip the 49th campaign and Mike Levin consulted attorneys who said the forum did not create any legal issues.

RELATED: Democratic Party Endorsement In The 49th Congressional District A Long Shot

The San Diego Registrar of Voters shows 14 people have declared their intention to run for the 49th.

The deadline to file for the race is March 9. If incumbent Issa does not file papers to run again, the deadline becomes March 14. Issa said in January he would not run for the seat he has held since 2001.

All the candidates for the 49th have been invited to a forum at Vista City Hall hosted by the League of Women Voters at 6 p.m., Friday, March 9.

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