SAN DIEGO -- Former San Diego City Councilmember and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio today announced his candidacy for a local congressional seat. DeMaio seeks to unseat freshman Congressman Scott Peters (D-San Diego) in the 52nd Congressional District in the 2014 race.
A native of Orange County in California, DeMaio served one term on the San Diego City Council from 2008 to 2011 before running for San Diego's mayor last year. Democrat Bob Filner beat Republican DeMaio in a runoff.
DeMaio said he hopes that voters will focus on the important economic issues facing the nation.
"I see myself as a 'new generation Republican' who wants to challenge the party to focus on pocket-book, economic and quality of life issues in a more positive and inclusive way, rather than issues that are frankly none of the government's business in the first place,'' DeMaio said.
According to City News Service, the 52nd Congressional District, which represents mostly coastal and coastal-inland North County, has traditionally gone to a conservative candidate. But redistricting divided the voting block last year in thirds between Democrats, Republicans and Independents, paving the way for a closer race. Peters, a former member of the San Diego City Council, narrowly won the seat by defeating longtime incumbent Brian Bilbray, a Republican.
This morning, DeMaio posted a letter to supporters on his campaign website, outlining his goals if elected to Congress:
During the depths of World War 2, Winston Churchill said: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
In our battles over the years to save the City of San Diego from bankruptcy and implement our "Reform Agenda," I often turned to Winston Churchill for inspiration.
With your help, we overcame so many obstacles and we can point to an impressive record of getting reforms done in San Diego.
I believe our work must continue.
Like you, I am concerned about the condition and course of government at all levels and the troubled state of our economy.
Like you, I'm not willing to let our country, state or cities fall further into disrepair without fighting to fix the problems.
That's why I have decided to run for Congress - and I'd like you to be part of our campaign to offer bold reform ideas in an inclusive and fresh way.
My candidacy has already attracted national attention - with stories in Roll Call, the Wall Street Journal, and even the UK Guardian. Washington observers are pointing to our success in implementing major fiscal reforms here in San Diego.
All of this early national buzz is meaningless without strong local support - and that is why I am asking you to join my campaign from day one.
If you invest in this campaign today, you will help us advance four key changes to what's happening in Washington.
Balance the Budget:
They said we couldn't balance San Diego's budget and avoid bankruptcy -- but we did it! In San Diego, I released a 350-page "Roadmap to Recovery" budget plan - and got many of the reforms implemented on a bipartisan vote.
We desperately need some real budget expertise in Congress. As a budget expert, I will outline cost savings to help balance the federal budget and help produce a plan like the one we successfully used in San Diego.
I'm also looking forward to implementing national legislation to make it easier to achieve Pension Reform in state and local governments across the country. San Diego is already being cited as a national model, and we have incredible momentum to take our reforms national with federal legislation.
Make Government Work:
Americans are turned off by "the Party of No" and a "gut and cut" approach to governing. We must offer real and credible solutions to fix things and make government work again for the people.
Having built a company that specialized in implementing management reforms to improve the performance of government programs, I will offer solutions to fix long-troubled programs covering important areas such as veterans benefits, teacher performance incentives, and health care affordability.
In Congress, I'll continue my well-known pattern of authoring detailed plans on pressing problems - and presenting those ideas in a direct and candid way. It worked in San Diego - it can work in Washington!
Revitalize the Economy:
From advancing real tax reform to cutting costly red tape, I will fight to promote investment, help small businesses, and expand job training programs.
Fix Congress First - Shake Up the Political Parties:
To impose accountability and transparency on the political process like we've never seen before, I will propose a law to force Congress to live under the same laws it expects the rest of us to live under.
Fixing Congress must also involve changing the tone and tenor of both political parties. I see myself as a 'new generation Republican' who wants to challenge the party to focus on fiscal, economic and quality of life issues in a more positive and inclusive way - rather than issues that are frankly none of the government's business in the first place.
My candidacy and my eventual voice in Congress will offer an example of how we can refocus Washington's attention on issues that unite, rather than issues that divide.
YOUR ROLE - Help Launch the "Reform Agenda" in Congress
I cannot advance these much-needed reforms alone. None of our successes in San Diego - from defeating the "Blank Check Tax Hike" in 2010 to passing Pension Reform in 2012 - could be done without the help of thousands of San Diegans like you.
To achieve our reform goals with this campaign for Congress, I need your help.
Please make a donation today - and please consider attending one of the events we have scheduled in June. You can donate and select an event simply by visiting our website at www.carldemaio.com
We've made bold reform happen before. With your help in this campaign, we'll do it again.
DeMaio made an official public announcement of his candidacy this morning at 10 am.
As a matter of full disclosure, SDGLN Publisher Johnathan Hale has a personal relationship with Carl DeMaio. Their relationship in no way impacts the editorial decisions made by Ken Williams, SDGLN Editor in Chief.