GOP Endorsement Eludes Indicted San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter
Speaker 1: 00:00 Last night, candidates vying for the 50th congressional district seat took part in a forum style debate by the end of the night, not one of them walked away with the endorsement of the San Diego County GOP. Andrew Dyer covers military and veterans issues for the San Diego union Tribune and was at last night's Republican forum. Andrew, welcome. Speaker 2: 00:21 Hi. Thanks for having me. Speaker 1: 00:23 So, you know, was this form an official event sponsored by the San Diego County GOP? Speaker 2: 00:28 Yes, it was. This was their, uh, they have a series of meetings throughout the year. And, um, last night it was a, a kind of a special one because they had each Republican candidate for the 50th district in, in the house and on the stage, uh, for a, uh, debate style forum Speaker 1: 00:48 and how many of the candidates showed up, Speaker 2: 00:51 uh, for them. Did a state Senator, a Brian Jones, uh, the incumbent, uh, Congressman Duncan Hunter, uh, former Congressman Darrel Isaeh and former city council member Carl de Mio. Speaker 1: 01:04 And you mentioned the incumbent, a representative Dunkin Hunter was there who is facing charges surrounding the use of campaign funds. What was the reaction to his presence? Speaker 2: 01:15 Um, he, you know, he, he has a lot of support. Um, you know, when he came in I kind of did his, his entrance, you know, there was a lot of cheers, you know, when he speaks, um, you know, he hits his talking points and the, um, background really responds to him. Speaker 1: 01:34 And, and so this forum was sort of a debate style forum. Um, you know, was there a moderator who asked questions and did the audience get to ask questions, um, set the scene for us Speaker 2: 01:45 so the audience did not get to ask questions. That was moderated by the County Republican chair. Um, Tony Cavarretta, uh, he asked each, you know, he had a list of questions in each candidate, got a chance to, to answer the question. Um, he, he asked the candidates to avoid mudslinging against each other because this was a Republican event. And, um, he really tried to keep a, a unified front, so to speak. Speaker 1: 02:18 How did that work out? Speaker 2: 02:21 Uh, for the most part, it worked out. Um, you know, at one point there Leisa did mention he, he said that Carl de Mio wasn't never Trumper and that drew some boos from the audience. Um, Carl de myo talked about, um, Republicans abandoning their congressional congressional seats in, in 2018 he didn't mention ICO by name, but I, so of course did not run for reelection in 2018 and his seat was, uh, won by a Democrat. Speaker 1: 02:57 So what were some of the big issues that tackled in this forum last night? Speaker 2: 03:02 Uh, they talked about, um, the big ones. Immigration is a big issue. Um, they talked about guns. They talked about, um, abortion rights or Roe V Wade. Um, they kind of fit all of the, um, kind of the cultural, uh, Republican issues. Speaker 1: 03:25 So were there any responses that came as a surprise, uh, or that were uncharacteristic of the candidates? Speaker 2: 03:32 No, in fact, they're, they're all, um, you know, they all are pretty much in agreement with each other. They all say they support president Trump and they each answer the question about how they would support the president if they're elected to Congress. Um, there wasn't any, um, specific policy differences between the four that, that, that I saw. Speaker 1: 03:56 Mm. And so by the end of the night, no one got a majority of votes, so there was no endorsement. Uh, you and your colleague reported that the union Tribune obtained a picture showing Carl de Mio got the most votes though. Did Mio know that? Know that, and if so, what was his reaction? Speaker 2: 04:13 Yeah, the, the candidates, um, you know, the, the vote happens behind closed doors, but you know, the candidates are members of the party. Um, so, but I did get a little information today. Um, they do like there's rounds of voting and each rounds, the, uh, the person who receives the least amount of votes is kind of dropped off. And, um, um, a representative of, um, state Senator Brian Jones, his campaign emailed us this morning to say, Hey, you know, the, the photo that you saw, you know, that was, that was the first round, but in the next round, um, it was DeMaio who dropped off. And, um, according to the Jones campaign, uh, the voting came down to, to Duncan Hunter. And Brian Jones with, uh, with neither getting the two thirds majority required for an endorsement. Speaker 1: 05:09 Hmm. And that same photo also apparently showed that former representative Darryl Eissa who has the backing of the local GOP establishment got no votes. Uh, was that fact known to the people in the room? Speaker 2: 05:22 Um, right. So the, uh, the, the photo that, that we obtained it, you know, ice is not in the top three. And, um, that does square with the information provided from the Jones campaign that, um, that former Congressman I said did not make it out of the first round. Speaker 1: 05:39 What do you think that says about his candidacy for the 50th congressional district? Speaker 2: 05:44 You know, I'm not, I'm not sure how much we can, we can refer from it because this was a meeting of the County GOP, you know, these are the most active members, the party and um, you know, Congressman ISA, he, he really, during his closing statements, he really took the time to speak directly to the delegates. And he said, you know, if you endorse one of us, you're basically not endorsing three of us. And, um, his thinking was that whoever wins the primary is your likely winner. So he seemed to kind of back off really. Um, he did not come out swinging. He was very deferential to Congressman Hunter. You know, he said the congressman's voting record was stellar, and that if for whatever reason, Hunter was enabled to continue in his seat, um, that he was B, uh, he being, um, Darryl Leisa would be the best person to, to step in. Um, of course, um, Duncan Hunter is, uh, under indictment and awaiting his criminal trial. Speaker 1: 06:54 All right. I've been speaking with Andrew Dyer, who covers military and veterans issues for the San Diego union Tribune. Andrew, thank you very much. Speaker 2: 07:03 Hey, thank you. Speaker 3: 07:05 [inaudible].