Candidate steps down to make way for fellow Democrats in race for 49th

OCEANSIDE, Calif. -- Attorney Christina Prejean is dropping out of the race to succeed retiring Republican Rep. Darrell Issa in the 49th Congressional District, citing the large number of fellow Democrats seeking the seat.

Prejean announced the move to cheers at a "Flip the 49th" political forum in Oceanside on Friday night.

"In the military, we say `One team, One fight,' and our focus is always on the mission," she tweeted. "As a proud Democrat and progressive, we are on the same team, and our mission is to flip the 49th.

"That's why, with such a crowded field of candidates in this race, I've decided that the best way to accomplish this mission is for me to step out of the race, to better ensure our chances of flipping the 49th."

With five Democrats having announced their candidacies and the possibility of more appearing on the June primary ballot, party leaders have expressed fears they would so split the vote that two Republicans would top the field and no Democrat would appear on the November ballot under the state's top two primary system.

The coastal district stretches from La Jolla to Dana Point in Orange County.