By Ken Stone
The race to replace Rep. Susan Davis in Congress came into sharper focus Thursday with two fellow Democrats saying they are considering a run in San Diego’s 53rd District and two others declaring “count me out.”
A little before 6 p.m. Thursday, San Diego City Council President Georgette Gómez, 43, tweeted “[thank you] all 4 your love & support – I’m strongly considering it & will have an announcement soon.”
Gómez, elected in 2016, represents District 9, which includes Alvarado Estates, City Heights, College Area, College View Estates, El Cerrito, Kensington, Mountain View, Mt. Hope, Rolando, Southcrest and Talmadge.
Earlier, Sara Jacobs, 30, said on Twitter that many encouraged her to make a second run for Congress — after a failed June 2018 primary bid in North County’s 49th District, ultimately won by Rep. Mike Levin.“I appreciate their faith in me and am seriously considering it,” said Jacobs, a granddaughter of Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs.
Meanwhile, emphatic no’s came from Sacramento, with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego tweeting: “There is ZERO chance I will run for Susan Davis’ congressional seat. Final. Now stop texting/asking… I’ve got work to do.”
And state Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins of San Diego said: “While I appreciate the consideration, I want to make it clear that I am running for re-election to the California State Senate.”
Friday morning, Politico’s Carla Marinucci fueled the Gómez fire by tweeting the councilwoman has “made the first moves” to run for the Davis seat:
Sources say Georgette Gomez, San Diego Council president, has made the first moves to run for #CA-53 seat being vacated by retiring @RepSusanDavis —described as “pro-Labor Lesbian Latina, makes a great fit”
— Carla Marinucci (@cmarinucci) September 6, 2019
Republican Morgan Murtaugh — who challenged Davis in 2018 as possibly the youngest candidate in the country — said in a statement that she was honored and humbled by the “overwhelming amount of people who have reached out and asked” if she would run again.
“After serious reflection and prayer,” said the former OAN anchor and producer, “I have decided that although I plan on running for office again in the future, I will not be running for Congress in 2020. That said, I look forward to seeing how this election plays out and hope that the Republican Party can put forth a strong enough candidate to win this seat.”
Murtaugh, endorsed by the San Diego County Republican Party, lost her November 2018 race to Davis 69.1% to 30.9%.
Davis announced her intention to retire after her current, 10th term Wednesday, and told KPBS on Thursday she doesn’t yet know what she wants to do in San Diego but won’t run for office again.
She also didn’t announce a preference for her successor.
“I’m not recommending anybody,” she told host Mark Sauer on “Midday Edition.” “This is just day one after … I made the decision. I’m hoping that they’ll be a number of people who are thinking about it and come forward. Obviously I want someone who really cares about constituents, is really willing to take all of those meetings. … This is a decision for the people to decide.”
The outpouring encouragement I’ve received 2 run 4 Congress has been inspiring. A wave of true grassroots energy is exactly how we’re going 2 beat Trump & deliver bold progressive change. Ty all 4 your love & support – I’m strongly considering it & will have an announcement soon.
— Georgette Gómez (@SDGeorgette) September 6, 2019
— Sara Jacobs (@SaraJacobsCA) September 5, 2019
Many people have reached out to me regarding the 2020 election for the Congressional seat now held by Rep. Davis. While I appreciate the consideration, I want to make it clear that I am running for re-election to the California State Senate. (3/5)
— Toni G. Atkins (@toniatkins) September 5, 2019
For those in the back:
There is ZERO chance I will run for Susan Davis’ Congressional Seat.
Now stop texting/asking… I’ve got work to do.
— Lorena (@LorenaSGonzalez) September 5, 2019
They — and any other potential candidates — face an Oct. 5 deadline to enter the race. That’s the date a state Democratic Party conference meets to consider state endorsements in the March 2020 primary.
Updated at 7:57 a.m. Sept. 6, 2019
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