Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Diane Harkey On The Race For The 49th Congressional Seat

Republican Diane Harkey, a candidate in the 49th congressional district race ...

Credit: Diane Harkey campaign

Above: Republican Diane Harkey, a candidate in the 49th congressional district race in an undated photo.

Diane Harkey On The Race For The 49th Congressional Seat


Diane Harkey, candidate, 49th Congressional District


In our series of interviews with the candidates running for office in the November election, we speak with Diane Harkey of Orange County, a member on the Board of Equalization, who is running to represent the 49th Congressional District, which stretches from Del Mar to Dana Point.

The 49th District race is one of the most closely watched races in the nation as Democrats aim to flip the seat in an effort to take back control of the House.

RELATED: 49th Congressional Campaign Off To Aggressive Start

Harkey is running against Democrat Mike Levin, an environmental attorney from Orange County. The winner will replace Republican Darrell Issa, who is retiring at the end of his term.

While registered Republican voters outnumber registered Democrats, Hillary Clinton won the district by seven percentage points in 2016.

Reported by Roland Lizarondo

Q: Why are you running for Congress?

A: I’m running for Congress to replace the dysfunction in Washington D.C. I’ve worked in the Legislature. I’ve also worked on the State Board of Equalization in a very minority position because I’m a Republican in a very Democrat state and I’ve been able to make things work and get things done and I think we need that.

Q: If elected, what are the key issues you would focus on?

A: I want to focus on job creation and retaining what we’ve got. This 49th District is really a hotbed of industry between biotech, biocom, the life science industry, military contracting, NIH funding is really important to this district.

Q: What's your stance on health care?

A: Healthcare is a huge issue. I don’t think either party right now has it right. I am not for single payer. I am not for Medicare for all. Medicare is underfunded. I think we just need to make some revisions, we need to probably beef up some of the ACA where needed. Maybe there’s some kind of independence for each state to do what it needs to do. Maybe crossing state boundaries for insurance coverage and allowing more choice in those areas.

Q: What’s your stance on the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant?

A: This is a process. It’s not going to happen overnight. But what we do need to have is cooperation so that when we need the votes off the Congressional floor and need we get 60 votes off the Senate, we get there. We’re lacking in cooperation between the parties and that’s where I think I can help. We need to move San Onofre to the top of the list because it’s a decommissioned plant. I think we can make a case to do some heavy lifting to try to negotiate something across the country.

Q: Would you support gun legislation at the federal level?

A: I’m a true believer in the 10th Amendment, which is states rights. I believe that what works in Massachusetts for guns is not going to work in Montana. I think you have to have the states weight in. I don’t support anything on the national level at this point. I don’t own a gun. But I’m a strong Second Amendment person and I don’t want to give up a Second Amendment right.

General Election - 49th Congressional District

Candidates answered with a YES, NO or OTHER, as well as a short explanation for each question, which can be viewed by clicking on the boxes below. If the box displays an N/A, that means the candidate chose not to respond.

When applicable, responses will include a date that marks if and when a candidate changed their answer.

Election 2020 news coverage


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Midday Edition banner

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.