By Ken Stone
Organizers of the first debate of major candidates in the 50th Congressional District — now unrepresented in the wake of Duncan D. Hunter’s resignation Monday — announced a new addition Friday: state Sen. Brian Jones.
“The latest poll clearly shows he belongs on the stage with 12% support,” said William Del Pilar, president of the Valley Center Business Association.
He called that result a “massive jump” from Jones’ original 4%. Santee’s favorite son, Jones boasts being the only major GOP candidate who lives in the East County and North County district.
“We’re going to continue evaluating other candidates but also await the public disclosure of financials from the candidates, Del Pilar said Friday.
Tickets to the debate set for 7-9 p.m. Feb. 7, 2020, at the Maxine Theater in Valley Center are free. But all 600 are spoken for.
“However, right before the event begins, we’ll allow on a first-come, first-serve basis for people who show up without tickets to fill any open seats,” Del Pilar told Times of San Diego. “We all know many times people reserve free tickets and never show up.”
An elected member of the Valley Center Community Planning Group and a candidate himself for the San Diego County Republican Party Central Committee, Del Pilar began organizing the debate before even Republican former North County Congressman Darrell Issa joined the race.
Others expected to attend are former San Diego Councilman and radio host Carl DeMaio, a Republican, Democrat Campa-Najjar, who lost to Hunter in November 2018 by about 3 1/2 points.
The Maxine Theatre venue at 31322 Cole Grade Road — operated by the local school district and adjacent to Oak Glen High School — is wheelchair-accessible.
The debate is presented by the Valley Center Business Association and the Valley Roadrunner/Times-Advocate.
A month after the debate, the top two vote-getters in the March 3 primary advance to the November presidential election.
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