Endorsement: Our recommendations for House seats in the San Diego area and for the U.S. Senate

May 20, 2022

The San Diego Union-Tribune Opinion has endorsed Congressman Peters’ reelection campaign, affirming his record of getting things done for San Diegans and our country.

Read more in this May 19 piece by the San Diego Union-Tribune, posted below:

Endorsement: Our recommendations for House seats in the San Diego area and for the U.S. Senate

By The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board

May 19, 2022

The five members of San Diego County’s congressional delegation have crucial jobs at a crucial time. There are major regional issues to address, from border wait times to border pollution, from nuclear waste storage to health care for one of the largest veteran populations in the nation, from breaking infrastructure to a broken immigration system.

San Diegans are currently deciding which of the five to re-elect to the House of Representatives for two more years. In offering recommendations, The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board will continue its tradition of judging candidates more through a prism of accomplishments, know-how and character than a partisan lens. But to be clear, we consider equivocation on the climate emergency and attempts to explain away the Jan. 6 insurrection as dangerous — not partisan.

The top two vote-getters in the June 7 election will advance to a Nov. 8 runoff. Officeholders have an edge in almost every race, but being likely to win isn’t the same as being someone who should, especially when future U.S. elections are at stake.

That’s on painful display in the 48th Congressional District, which covers much of East County from the border through Temecula and part of Murrieta. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Bonsall, is a smart, high-profile GOP veteran with deep pockets of both political capital and personal wealth. With these advantages, he should call disproven election-related conspiracy theories what they are: garbage. And his campaigns should revolve around issues, not incendiary tactics. In 2020, Issa targeted Republican rival Carl DeMaio for being gay, earning condemnation from the chair of the Republican Party of San Diego County. And after Jan. 6, 2021, Issa opposed inquiries into the insurrection. He was among 147 GOP members of Congress to reject official results showing Joe Biden was president-elect. That should be disqualifying. He’s since kept trying to rewrite history in ways that minimize and keep alive the ugliest threat to U.S. democracy in modern times, as he did on the one-year anniversary of the insurrection, calling it a “difficult day” but suggesting it was nothing like the “devastating” weeks and months since.

We recommend voters consider Issa’s most capable opponent — Stephen Houlahan, an independent-turned-Democrat registered nurse and youth coach who was ready to rock the boat while on the Santee City Council. He offers sensible, moderate to liberal views on immigration, climate change, wildfires, the inequities of the tax code and the public health lessons of the pandemic. He has the potential to be a focused, effective lawmaker — one who doesn’t embarrass many of his constituents.

In the other districts, we support the Democrats now in office. In the 49th District, which spans southern Orange County and northwestern San Diego County, national GOP strategists have long seen Rep. Mike Levin, D-San Juan Capistrano, as vulnerable, given the history of major House losses for the party of a first-term president in the next midterm election. Republican Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and Brian Maryott, a former GOP mayor of San Juan Capistrano, have strong supporters. But Levin’s success in helping advance solutions for the Tijuana River pollution flooding nightmare, in keeping the spotlight on the need to remove nuclear waste from San Onofre and in advancing veterans causes is an unusually impressive collection of achievements for two initial two terms.

In the 50th District, which covers coastal San Diego, five-term Democratic Rep. Scott Peters has also got things done since his early days. Of late, Peters’ orchestration of a compromise last year that would allow Medicare to directly negotiate and thus bring down the cost of some prescription drugs — in a way that doesn’t discourage their development — was a testament to his mastery of the issue and hard work. Many in his own party criticized him, but millions of people will benefit as a result.

In the 51st District, which includes parts of San Diego and East County, Rep. Sara Jacobs, D-San Diego, quickly settled into a role in her first term as a respected, go-to voice on foreign policy, befitting the international experience she brought to the job. With war in Europe, that experience is vital now.

In the 52nd District, which includes Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City and other parts of South San Diego County, five-term Democratic Rep. Juan Vargas long ago proved himself to be an effective, coalition-building voice on issues related to border infrastructure, immigration policies and the treatment of deported U.S. military veterans.

Finally, in the U.S. Senate race, as in some races above, the Democratic officeholder — ex-California Secretary of State Alex Padilla — lacks a real challenger and thus a real challenge. Appointed last year to replace newly elected Vice President Kamala Harris, Padilla — and voters themselves — would have benefited from seeing a strong GOP or independent foe so the MIT-educated engineer could show off his technocratic smarts. We endorse all the current officeholders but one. This is a moment to draw the line at election legitimacy. Draw it.



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Paid for by Scott Peters for Congress


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