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Local Democrats Call Out Congressional Candidate For Misleading Mailers

San Diego County Democratic Party Chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy (left) with...

Photo by Andi Dukleth

Above: San Diego County Democratic Party Chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy (left) with Democratic National Committee member Jess Durfee decrying Sara Jacobs for what they say are misleading mailers on Feb. 11, 2020.

UPDATE: 7 p.m., Feb. 11, 2020:

The San Diego County Democratic Party is criticizing 53rd District congressional candidate Sara Jacobs for making it appear on mailers that the party is endorsing her.

Listen to this story by Joe Hong.

Some of Jacobs’ mailers feature the party’s donkey logo saying she is “endorsed by California Democrats" for the 53rd District seat, which represents portions of the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista and El Cajon. While Jacobs has received endorsements from some high-level Democrats, she is not endorsed by either the state or local party.

Leaders of the local party, which is endorsing San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez in the race, called out Jacobs during a news conference Tuesday.

Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Sara Jacobs mailer with the language that the local Democratic Party chair says is misleading in this Feb. 11, 2020 photo.

“Democratic voters want to know who the Democratic Party supports,” said Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, chair of the county’s Democratic Party. “That’s why it’s deeply disappointing we found out that Sara Jacobs is trying to fool voters into thinking she’s endorsed by the California Democratic Party.”

RELATED: A Large Field Of Candidates Vying For The 53rd Congressional District Seat

Jacobs’ campaign responded to the criticism, saying the candidate had earned the endorsements of several prominent California Democrats, including Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and several members of Congress.

“Rather than further dividing the Party, Sara is focused on bringing everyone together,” said Morgan Hill, a spokeswoman for Jacobs’ campaign.

In response to the local Democratic Party’s news conference, Kounalakis said she’s “proud to be one of many California Democrats to endorse (Jacobs') campaign.”

Jacobs is the former CEO of an education nonprofit and granddaughter of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs. In 2018, she unsuccessfully ran to represent the 49th district.

Jess Durfee, chair of the western region of the Democratic National Committee, also spoke at the news conference. He is also Gómez's campaign treasurer.

Durfee criticized Jacobs’ past campaign strategies, citing a Union-Tribune article, which revealed that she misstated her role in the Obama administration’s State Department. According to the article, she claimed to be a policymaker in the department when in fact she was a contractor who had no direct role in policymaking.

Jacobs and Gómez are both running on progressive platforms that include support for universal healthcare, equitable solutions to climate change and stricter gun regulations.

A recent 10News/San Diego Union-Tribune poll showed Jacobs in the lead among the 14 candidates with support from 23% of 513 likely voters. Pilot and Marine Corps Reserve Officer Chris Stoddard came in second with 10%. Gómez received 5% of the votes, tying for third with Republican candidate Famela Ramos.

But more voters, 35% of those polled, were undecided.

San Diego News Now podcast branding

The San Diego Democratic Party criticizes candidate Sara Jacobs for implying the party endorsed her when it has not. Plus, the San Diego City pays a settlement to two men ... Read more →

Aired: February 12, 2020 | Transcript

Editor's note: This story was updated to reflect that Jess Durfee is also Georgette Gómez's campaign treasurer.

Election 2020 news coverage

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