Dr. Matt Rahn, who is vying to unseat recently re-elected Rep. Duncan Hunter. Photo: Facebook

The 2020 election is in the distance, but Temecula’s mayor has filed paperwork to run for California’s 50th Congressional District–a seat currently held by embattled GOP Representative Duncan Hunter.

“(Running for Congress) was never in the cards,” Mayor Matt Rahn told Valley News. “I don’t need to get involved in an area that has good representation, and I don’t need to be there [to] upset the apple cart, so to speak. But if we do see a shift and see change within the district, I think it’s important that we have the right kind of representation and I think a balanced representation.”

For decades, the 50th District has been held by Hunter and his father, Duncan L. Hunter before him. The younger was re-elected in November despite an indictment against he and his wife, Margaret, for allegedly using $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses. Hunter’s narrow 2018 victory over Democratic challenger Ammar Campa-Najjar was decided by just four percentage points.

According to Rahn’s bio posted on the City of Temecula’s website, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Nevada Reno, his Ph.D. from UC Davis, and his law degree from the University of San Diego. He serves as the director for the CSU San Marcos Environmental Leadership Institute and Wildfire Program, and is the lead instructor for the Environmental Leadership Academy and coursework in wildfire science, CEQA, water management, conservation planning, and energy, according to his LinkedIn page.

He also heads Rahn Conservation Consulting LLC, a private full-service environmental firm that provides support for environmental, planning, wildfire, energy, conservation, policy, and sustainability issues for local, state, and federal agencies, tribal government, private developers, and non-profit organizations, according to his LinkedIn page.

In 2005 he began representing San Diego State University, in alliance with the City of Temecula, in the long seven-year battle over the Liberty Quarry. 

Rahn was elected to Temecula City Council in 2014 and was re-elected to the post in 2018 by a wide margin over challenger Mayra Garcia.

Rahn’s key issues on city council include economic growth, public safety, transportation, parks and recreation, and our overall quality of life, according to the City of Temecula website.

If he were to be elected to Congress, Rahn told Valley News that leaving Temecula City Council would be difficult. His current term is set to expire in 2022.

“It would probably the most difficult thing I’d ever have to do in my professional career,” he said. “My time on the city council and as mayor has been probably one of the best experiences of my life.”


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