Sam Abed, the former mayor of Escondido, dropped out of the race for the 50th Congressional seat last Thursday, when his friend Darrell Issa, a former congressman, declared his candidacy for the seat whose incumbent is Duncan Hunter Jr.
The Times-Advocate asked Abed for a comment: “I suspended my campaign to support Congressman Issa because I believe that Darrell is the best candidate to win against Najjar and to keep the 50th District in Republican hands.”
Abed added, “Darrell is a man of Integrity, he served honorably for 18 years, he fought corruption and championed transparent government. He is an accomplished and a tested leader. His seniority and conservative values will get him critical committee assignment to best serve the district.”
The election is a busy race, but it just got significantly less crowded on Thursday when, not only Abed, but also El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn and former Navy SEAL Larry Wilske dropped out and endorsed Issa.
That leaves the incumbent, Duncan Hunter Jr., who is in the midst of a federal prosecution against him for allegedly misusing campaign funds for personal expenditures; former radio talk show host Carl DeMaio and state Senator Brian Jones in the race on the GOP side, as well as the lone Democratic contender Ammar Campa-Najjar. Also in the race is Independent Helen Horvath.
Issa used to represent the 49th District but declined to run in 2018 after winning reelection in 2016 by only one percentage point.