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CA-50: Special Election Date Is Set

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) announced late last week that a special election to replace former Rep. Duke Cunningham (R) in the state's 50th District will be held on April 11, with a runoff set for June 6.

Actually, under state law, the official special election is on June 6; all candidates -- regardless of party affiliation -- will compete in the April 11 open primary. If one candidate receives better than 50 percent of the vote (an unlikely outcome), he or she wins the seat outright. If no candidate gets a majority, the top votegetter from each party advances to the June runoff.

Although the district went for President Bush by 10 points in 2004, the scandal that led to Cunningham's resignation makes Democrats think they have a real chance here.  The seat is likely to be the first major test of whether the "culture of corruption" argument can be a winner for Democrats at the ballot box in 2006.

Democrats are united behind 2004 nominee Francine Busby (D), who has gained the support of EMILY's List. A number of Republicans are in the race, including former Rep. Brian Bilbray, former state Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian and state Sen. Bill Morrow.

For more extensive analysis on the district and the special election, click here for a recent Fix post or here for Roll Call expert Stu Rothenberg's take on the race (subscription required).

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 22, 2005; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: Brownback Talks '08


This blog posting was of great use in learning new information and also in exchanging our views. Thank you.

Oscar DeMaria

Posted by: Oscar DeMaria | May 26, 2006 3:35 AM | Report abuse

Go on its really good

Posted by: pissedguys | May 17, 2006 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Lovely, I must say, there is not so much themes, which deserve a comment. This one is realy needful

Posted by: Cash Advance | April 25, 2006 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Bilbray is not someone that I would vote for anymore. I question integrity and feel he is focusing to much on one issue and having absolutely no direction in which way he is going with it. I have lost a lot of respect for him as a candidate in the past few months. I have been in this district for many years and quite frankly, you have four-five straight politicians who talk the talk, but when it comes down to it, that's all it is, then we have a few democrats, but nothing impressive their either, was considering Francine, but lack of substanc and believe it or not, I am a democrat and am voting Republican in this race. First time ever. I believe it is Kooligian and Roch who supposedly are spending millions and millions on their campaigns and as far as I'm concerned, are just faces on the TV. No substance again. So far, I've narrowed OUT Bilbray, Roch, Francine, and Kooligian.

Posted by: Pete Hearn | March 13, 2006 5:22 AM | Report abuse

I currently live in the 50th district and have attended several events by different canidates. First off, I have heard each of them speak and am completely turned off by Bilbray. I do not trust a word he says, to me he sounds like every other politician. In fact, he would be the LAST PERSON I would vote for, along with I believe it is Roch, no experience in business, nor politics, he's all about money. Living in this area for almost 20 years I am very familiar with the needs of this district as well as the needs in Congress. I am fully supporting Alan Uke for the 50th District.

Posted by: Allison Scripps | March 12, 2006 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I just found out that Bilbray, the "Conservative Republican," is on the advisory board of the Log Cabin Republicans- a Gay and Lesbian organization!

Posted by: Concerned San Diegan Voter | January 17, 2006 2:10 AM | Report abuse

He rolled on you so that bush would get elected, he's an accomplice...he sacrificed your lives so that he got his deals through.....

think about it.

Posted by: How about Kerry? | January 1, 2006 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I agree that power corrupts moreso than political affiliation, but the score ain't the same on both sides...

Nixon? Bush?

Who are the Democratic equivalents?

Posted by: JB | December 29, 2005 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Jay, sounds like you're comparing apples and oranges--a House seat in CA-50 vs. a Senate seat where Corzine is replacing himself with Menendez. There is a special election to fill the open NJ-13 seat, right?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 25, 2005 6:52 PM | Report abuse

at least there is an election. here in NJ we had to stand by while our voice-on-the-hill gets *picked* and not chosen by us, the voters. as much as i like corzine and i have been proud of his record, the notion of chosing one's replacement still seems terribly unsavory.
i believe that regardless of the circumstances a congressman loses his job (promotion, intictment, retirement, etc) there should ALWAYS be an election and NEVER an appointment to decide the replacement.
p.s. it think bill b. hits the nail on the head above. it's not the political party, rather the notion of power, which corrupts.

Posted by: jay lassiter | December 24, 2005 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Yes he meant Susan Davis. Isn't Patty Davis one of the daughters of former President Reagan?

Posted by: Jason | December 24, 2005 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Who's Patty Davis? Do you mean Susan Davis?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 24, 2005 12:11 AM | Report abuse

I would hope that the "culture of corruption" would go absolutely nowhere with the electorate. I think history demonstrates that it is politics itself, not one ideology or another, that creates the tendency toward corruption. Although it appears to be the GOP that has had more than its share of issues over the last few years, the Democrats should be mighty careful if they care to start casting stones.

Posted by: Bill Baxter | December 23, 2005 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Bilbray's old district was primarily within the city of San Diego except for two Republican-leaning beach communities South of the San Diego bay--Imperial Beach and Coronado. Bilbray had been mayor of Imperial Beach.

To shore up Democrat Patty Davis' district once she had defeated Bilbray, the more Republican areas of her district in Northern San Diego city were added to CA-50 with the Southern boundary of the 50th reaching down to pick up most of wealthy La Jolla but taking care to avoid UC San Diego.

Now Bilbray seems to have moved to Carlsbad along the Northern coast of the district. Still, I'd expect that in a primary he would count on racking up decent margins within the city limits of San Diego.

The GOP primary seems to get more crowded by the day. State Senator Bill Morrow and right-wing former state assemblyman Chuck Kaloogian are both credible contenders that are definitely in the race. Turkish-American businessman Alan Uke (who has touted--apparently prematurely--support from Congressman Issa), pool company businessman Ken King, and ex-football player/Rep. Hunter intern Scott Turner also have announced but are less credible.

Moderate Del Mar Mayor Richard Earnest also seems interested. Less likely possiblities include moderate county supervisor Pam Slater-Price and conservative San Diego city councilman Brian Maienschein.

I would think that State Sen. Bill Morrow, who represents nearly the entire area in the state senate would have the best chance in a primary, but he's not a very exciting candidate and may be eclipsed in all-important fundraising. If Bilbray can avoid the carpetbagging charge, he's well positioned with his hardline immigration positions coupled with moderate common sense views on issues like the environment.

The only chance for a Busby victory, it seems to me, is a Kaloogian win in the primary. I would think that the more candidates that jump into the race, the better chance he has at making it to the June run-off. Moreover, he may be able to exploit a geographic advantage...most of the mentioned candidates are from the coastal areas of the district... if Kaloogian can dominate in GOP-rich Escondido and San Marcos, he wins.

Posted by: seank | December 23, 2005 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Which district will go longer without a congressperson, CA-50 or NJ-13? Ohh, the suspense!!

On a less facetious note, which district did Bilbray represent when he was in Congress before, and does it overlap with the current CA-50?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | December 22, 2005 7:09 PM | Report abuse

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