Vargas can’t avoid runoff

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – An upset of sorts occurred in a South Bay
congressional district, where Republican candidate Michael Crimmins earned a
spot in a November runoff election in a Democratic stronghold.

In the 51st Congressional District, Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, was
the top vote-getter, and Crimmins placed second. Under California's new “top-
two” primary system, the pair of candidates with the most votes will square
off in the general election in the House races.

That second spot had been expected to go to former Sen. Denise Moreno-
Ducheny, D-San Diego, who instead finished third.

Four other candidates split the rest of the vote in a district that has
sent Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, to the nation's capital for two decades —
often by wide margins. Filner gave up his seat to run for mayor of San Diego.

In the 52nd District, which covers a lot of new ground in the North
County after redistricting, Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach, will be heading
to a runoff election, but it was still unclear if he would square off with port
Commissioner Scott Peters or ex-Assemblywoman Lori Saldana, D-San Diego. Peters
and Saldana were separated by only a few hundred votes.

Bilbray said it was exciting to see how close the race was for his
challengers.

“There was a lot of people who wanted us to spend more money but,
frankly, we're looking at the November race,” Bilbray told television station
KUSI.

The district was shifted from being oriented along the North County
coastline toward inland areas as far east as Poway. District boundaries are
adjusted every 10 years, according to fresh U.S. census data.

In other local congressional races:

— Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, will battle for re-election in November
against Democrat Jerry Tetalman in the 49th District;

— Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-El Cajon, was the top vote-getter in the
50th District and will go to a runoff against Democrat David Secor;

— Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, and Republican Nick Popaditch were the
only two running in the 53rd District, so both will make it to the runoff.

Among state legislative races, perhaps the most contested is for the
76th Assembly seat in the North County. Oceanside Councilman Rocky Chavez was
leading the vote, with legislative staffer Sherry Hodges apparently earning the
second spot in the runoff over Carlsbad Councilwoman Farrah Douglas. All three
candidates are from the GOP.

Categories: KUSI