Carl DeMaio speaks to supporters at the U.S. Grant Hotel in his failed race for Congress in 2014. Photo by Chris Stone
Carl DeMaio speaks to supporters at the U.S. Grant Hotel in his failed race for Congress in 2014. Photo by Chris Stone

Carl DeMaio told his KOGO radio audience that he’s “truly conflicted” on whether to challenge fellow Republican Duncan Hunter in the 50th Congressional District.

But the former San Diego councilman said recent polling “shows the incumbent cannot hold the seat” and risks reducing the number of California GOP Congress members from seven to six.

“How pathetic is that?” DeMaio said on his Friday show, archived as a podcast.

He didn’t immediately respond to a request for details on the poll, but spokesman Dave McCulloch said the polling numbers could be released when DeMaio announces his plans.

On Monday, DeMaio says, he’ll reveal his decision on another race for the House — following his 2014 loss to Rep. Scott Peters.

On what could be his last radio show — because he’d have to pay for air time as an announced candidate — DeMaio took six calls. All favored a run for Congress.

One caller was fellow media personality Graham Ledger of San Diego-based One America News.

Ledger told DeMaio: “If you don’t run … it would be criminal.”

The nation’s founders wanted members of Congress to be “people like you,” Ledger said. “You’re just the man to do it.”

Gen X’er DeMaio, 44, frequently cited millennial Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democrat from New York City he calls one of the “Fascist Four.”

He said if he won a Congress race, he’d use his office to “basically do what AOC does — but with an IQ.”

Ledger said: “You have to remove some gray matter to make it fair.”

DeMaio played a clip in which Ocasio-Cortez talks about never having seen a garbage disposal. He joked that he’d show her how it works and guide her to “put your hand in here and flip the switch.”

He immediately retreated, saying: “No, I wouldn’t do that.”

DeMaio reserved other harsh remarks for “establishment Republicans” and GOP elites in California who he contends aren’t pushing against state Democratic leaders.

“They don’t have guts and courage right now,” he told his radio audience. They’re “offering a whole plate of nothing.”

DeMaio said he’d be a voice of California Republican opposition in Washington if he ran and won election in the conservative region — an example of someone in a district “affected by socialism.”

“I’m the guy who’s living it and trying to fight it,” DeMaio said — declaring the GOP could win back control of the House in 2020 if Republicans “aren’t the party of stupid.”

He also took calls from Rebecca in Escondido, Travis in Temecula, Daniel in Santee, Gary in San Marcos and Marcos in El Cajon — the last wanting to know if DeMaio could keep his radio show while serving in Congress.

After explaining the prohibition, DeMaio committed to doing a “Report from Congress” podcast at least once a week — in fact, be the first member to do so.

“I think that might be valuable,” he said.

In any case, DeMaio promised to be on the air Monday during his regular 3-6 p.m. slot.

“I will either be a guest or be a host,” he said.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. Aug. 3, 2019