Republican Kristin Gaspar Joins Crowded Race After Issa Endorses Harkey for Seat

Kristin Gaspar (Facebook)
Kristin Gaspar (Facebook)
Washington, DC

Republican Kristin Gaspar has thrown her hat into an already crowded race for the congressional seat Rep. Darrell Issa is vacating after 2018.

Gaspar’s consultant Jason Roe confirmed her candidacy for the 49th congressional district seat to local public radio station KPBS. She has received the backing of liberal Republican San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Councilman Scott Sherman, who have also used Roe’s services, according to Voice of San Diego.

Gaspar traveled to Washington, DC, last week where she met with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Gaspar, barely elected to the San Diego Board of Supervisors just over a year ago, entered the race after California Board of Equalization Chairwoman Diane Harkey and California State Assemblyman Rocky Chavez (R-Oceanside) also declared their candidacy. Harkey, the highest elected Republican in the state, has already received support from Issa himself and Rep. Mimi Walters.

Gaspar won her current Board of Supervisors seat in the 2016 election, but because of how close the race was, no winner was determined until nearly three weeks after the vote. She had previously served as mayor of Encinitas.

San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Brian Maryott and patent attorney Joshua Schoonover have also entered the competition for Issa’s seat on the Republican side.

Democrats are also targeting the Republican-leaning district. Doug Applegate, who lost to Issa in 2016, has jumped back into the race for 2018. Fellow Democrats — left-wing activist and attorney Mike Levin, businessman Paul Kerr, and former Obama State Department contract worker Sara Jacobs — have also jumped in.

Big Democratic fundraiser Mary Pat Bonner reportedly lobbied Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta to secure Jacobs, granddaughter of billionaire Qualcomm co-founder and Democrat megadonor Irwin Jacobs, an unpaid position on the campaign. Jacobs had initially been rejected for a position with the campaign, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

Issa won re-election to his seat in 2016 by a less than one percent margin ahead of Applegate. In the 2016 battle, Applegate received an avalanche of support from Democrats on high, including then President Barack Obama and now Sen. Kamala Harris, who was then California’s Attorney General.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 

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