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Democrat Doug Applegate Discusses His Second Run To Represent 49th Congressional District

Editor's note: KPBS Midday Edition is continuing to pursue interviews with 49th Congressional District candidates Republican Kristin Gaspar, Republican Diane Harkey and Democrat Paul Kerr.

Above: Democrat Doug Applegate, a candidate in the 49th congressional distric...

Credit: Doug Applegate Campaign

Above: Above: Democrat Doug Applegate, a candidate in the 49th congressional district race in an undated campaign photo.

Democrat Doug Applegate Discusses His Second Run To Represent 49th Congressional District


Doug Applegate, candidate to represent 49th District in House of Representatives


Retired Marine Colonel Doug Applegate is running for the seat he almost won back in 2016. He came within 2,000 votes of upsetting Rep. Darrell Issa.

Applegate is one of four Democrats hoping to flip the 49th Congressional District following Issa's retirement.

The 49th District stretches from La Jolla in San Diego County to Dana Point in Orange County.

Applegate joins Midday Edition on Wednesday to discuss his second run to represent the 49th District.

Q: What are your qualifications for this congressional seat. Why are you running?

A: I am going on for decades trial attorney, I have done civil rights, federal work, I am also an Iraq veteran, I served in Iraq in 2006, I've been a Marine since 1974. I have defended, prosecuted, and investigated international war crimes. I would have to say I am the most knowledgeable candidate with respect to criminal justice as well as progressive issues but most importantly the use of military force and challenging everyone in Congress to do your duty and to vote on the use of military force.

Q: Congress has not yet passed a replacement for DACA. Would you support a clean bill that provides a path for citizenship for people brought to the United States illegally as children?

A: Yes. A DREAM Act with a pathway to citizenship, so the canned does not kick down the street for DACA eligible people, this is absurd.

Q: If elected what is your position for funding for the border wall promoted by President Donald Trump?

A: Would not vote for a single dime. I am a Marine infantry officer. Walls and barriers do not work unless you have eyes on them. This is a waste of money.

Q: Lots of people Republican and Democrat both feel that the ACA needs some fixing. Do you agree that Obamacare needs fixing and how would you go about fixing it?

A: I view the ACA as too much of a gift to health insurance companies who provide nothing by way of healthcare. I have always been for a single-payer healthcare Medicare for all. That is made more efficient by the biotech industry. 50% of the biotech industry exists in the southern part of the 49th district. Here in San Diego. I am not for fixing the ACA. I am for going forward more along the lines of Bernie Sanders approach to a healthcare system that is more efficient, single-payer or at least Medicare for all, from cradle-to-grave.

Q: Would you support creating additional regulations on gun ownership nationally if elected to Congress?

A: Of course. I have been talking about that for three years. I'm the only one with authority that can speak on both sides of the aisle having been around weapons of war all my adult life. If I can wave a magic wand, spend all of my political capital, I would take assault weapons off of our streets. There is a problem. There are 30 million assault weapons already in the hands of private citizens in the United States, 10 million of which are AR 15's. One of the things we need to do is have universal background checks. If you cannot fly, you cannot buy. Everyone should be required to have a live classroom and combat range classroom qualification once a year before you buy ammo. If you say you are a good guy with a gun, be willing to prove it. I am against the reciprocity for concealed carry that Congress has been considering. That is Felony stupid. Law enforcement agrees with me on that.

Q: You agree with your fellow Democrats running in the 49th district on most of the issues that we talked about healthcare, DACA, healthcare, gun control. What distinguishes you from the rest?

A: I want to correct something. Everybody who is running have evolved to my issues that I have been running on for three years. None of them have an appreciation of one of the biggest metrics and demographics in the 49th, and that is our veterans both dependence and former service members. I had one of the candidates the other night insist that we are in relative peace. He knows nothing about the deployment rate of the Marines at Camp Pendleton. It is a little bit frustrating when people try to validate themselves with stupid comments like that. Or try to validate themselves by being a Vietnam-era veteran who never served in Vietnam and never came close to a combat zone. This is something that is pivotal to our national security. Our debt, and people are not talking about it with honesty.

Q: You have explained a number of times in the past that a very difficult divorce in the early 2000's lead to restraining orders being filed against you. Your former wife has defended your character. We are now in the age of me too. Candidates are being scrutinized more than ever before about their behavior towards women. How much of an effect do you think your history will have in this campaign?

A: Absolutely none. First of all, you mischaracterized the restraining orders. Temporary restraining orders are without admissible evidence put into the court. Second of all, I am fully behind the me to movement and the basic tenant of the me to movement is believed the woman. A lot of people don't want to believe Priscilla Greco the mother of my children and former wife who repeatedly stated that this was taken out of context. She fully supports me. She voted for me in 2016 and intends to vote for me in 2018 both in June and November.

Q: The latest polling in the 49th has you slipping by about six points. You are still leading among Democrats. You lost the overall lead to Republican Rocky Chavez. How will you stop the slide in the polls?

A: Which poll you talking about? There have been plenty of polls taken every week. The most recent poll in Washington DC that will not be published that has talked about up on the hill still has me ahead. I think the last election proved that you really cannot put a lot of stock in polls because we have the best way of deciding who is ahead and who is behind coming up in less than five weeks.

Q: I remember one of your main objectives in 2016 was to defeat Darrell Issa. Now that he is not running, why do you still want to represent the 49th district?

A: I want to represent the 49th district because of issues. I think single-payer healthcare is essential. It needs to be more efficient because the biotech. Education is the only way that we are going to change the polarization and the wealth disparity in the United States. We have to start sooner in preschool at age 2 public school all the way through 16 years of education. Even beyond that. The way the millennials are looking at their future, they are going to have six or seven jobs in their lifetime. The only way that they can be successful is to educate themselves throughout their lives. And then we have renewable energy that now international consultants, conservative business international consult consultants, believe that we have an energy. There is no longer any need for oil subsidies at the rate of $62 billion a year. We can get to 100% renewables within 10 years. That is what large corporations are investing in because it is the largest return on investment. Those of the most important things. I have always run on those things. I didn't just run because of a personality named Darrell Issa.

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