Brian Maryott
Brian Maryott. Campaign photo

San Juan Capistrano Mayor Brian Maryott announced Tuesday he will try to unseat first-term Rep. Mike Levin next year and return the 49th Congressional District to Republican control.

Levin defeated former state Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey in the November mid-term election to flip the seat, which Republican Darrell Issa had held since 2002. Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index currently rates the California’s 49th as a swing district, with the GOP eking out a 3 percent advantage in voter registration.

Levin ran an unabashedly left campaign against Harkey to win the seat and has since endorsed priorities for the party’s progressive caucus like expanding Medicare and passing a so-called Green New Deal with the goal of mitigating the effects of climate change.

Maryott lambasted Levin for his platform, calling him “too extreme” for the district that includes parts of southern Orange County and northern San Diego County, including Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad and Encinitas, along with Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.

“His reckless Green New Deal would cost our country millions of jobs, tens of trillions of dollars in new national debt and inflict major financial damage on San Diego and Orange County families,” Maryott said. “Levin’s extreme irresponsibility on this and other issues show him to be out of touch with the vast majority of families in the 49th Congressional district.”

Maryott framed himself as a fiscal conservative seeking to represent the district with policy ideas he said are common sense, like improving border safety, fostering stable economic growth and slashing government spending. He also pledged to avoid kowtowing to special interests and “fringe socialist interests.”

Adam Berkowitz, the manager for Levin’s re-election campaign, dismissed Maryott as “another Trump acolyte resorting to name calling and personal attack rather than respectful debate.”

“Our district deserves better,” he said.

Only one Republican, Rep. Duncan Hunter currently represents any section of San Diego County in Congress.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.