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Two Main Candidates Eyeing 49th Congressional Seat In Divided District

Businessman Brian Maryott (left) and Rep. Mike Levin in undated photos.

Credit: Campaign Photos

Above: Businessman Brian Maryott (left) and Rep. Mike Levin in undated photos.

The 49th Congressional District seat flipped from Republican to Democrat in 2018.

Democrats want to keep the seat and Republicans think they can flip the seat back. At Levin’s office in Solana Beach, volunteers often gather to talk about strategy and ask Levin questions about his campaign platform.

When Levin flipped the seat in 2018, some described it as an anomaly in a historically Republican district. Levin said he had received a lot of support from residents.

"It wasn’t just me flipping the seat. I think it was a whole host of volunteers who were really dedicated to having someone represent their values in Washington," Levin said.

“I’ve done everything possible and will continue to do everything to represent the interests and values of North County San Diego and south Orange County,” he said.

But, Republican challenger and San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Brian Maryott said he thinks he can win the seat back because voters want a more moderate candidate.

"Mike ran as a moderate and he’s not a moderate, he’s a part of a progressive socialist caucus that I think has a very different vision for our country than I think most of the people in the 49th District have," Maryott said. "The differences between Mike and I are not finer points. They are very distinct in terms of how we view the major issues of the day."

One of those points is health care.

"I think health care is a big one," Maryott said. "I think health care in this country could be world-class, the envy of the world and we’ve left it dangling in the balance a little bit. We could do so much better than that if we maintain a system that’s driven by private markets, private enterprise and the government silo remains fairly modest."

But, Levin said his track record proves he can work across party lines. He’s passed several bipartisan bills.

“While I don’t agree with the president on a number of things. Whether it be environmental protection or reproductive choice, I do nonetheless work with my colleagues across the aisle and I’m going to represent the values of our district. Not any particular ideology," Levin said.

“I’m going to work on a bipartisan basis whenever possible for our veterans, military families, for our environment, trying to get the nuclear waste off the coast of San Onofre,” Levin said.

Maryott said some of his campaign priorities are fiscal.

“Health care, tax and economic policy and immigration, those three issues collectively are important in terms of the do-ability of the American dream,” he said.

Both candidates will get through the primary since they are the only ones on the ballot, so they will head to the general election in November.

Listen to this story by Shalina Chatlani.

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Shalina Chatlani
Science and Technology Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover all things science and technology — from the biotech industry in San Diego to rooftop solar energy on new homes. I'm interested in covering the human side of science and technology, like barriers to entry for people of color or gender equity issues on biotech boards.

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