Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect current vote totals as of Friday evening.
SAN DIEGO — Residents across San Diego County cast their votes for representation in Congress Tuesday, and early returns showed familiar faces building leads in the primary contest.
That included Rep. Mike Levin in the 49th Congressional District, widely considered a potential battleground with a field of established Republican challengers. As of a Friday update from election officials, Levin had captured nearly 49% of the vote, far more than any opponent. Many ballots remained to be counted, but a familiar foe looked poised to take second place.
The top two vote-getters in each race will move on to a run-off in the November general election.
Keep in mind: Re-districting has shaken up California’s political boundaries, potentially changing your member of Congress.
New boundaries in the 49th Congressional District removed a portion containing parts of the city of San Diego and added the Orange County city Laguna Niguel. The coastal North County district runs from Del Mar to Orange County’s Dana Point and includes Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad and Camp Pendleton.
That shift in boundaries led political observers to highlight the district as a possible battleground, and drew a robust field.
A Democrat, Levin is an environmental attorney first elected to congress in 2018. He serves on the House Natural Resources and Veterans’ Affairs committees. He defines his tenure and priorities, in part, by his work on combatting climate change and supporting military families.
The Republican former mayor of San Juan Capistrano, Maryott has run and lost against Levin before. Based on the early returns, the pair appeared headed for a rematch in November.
Maryott describes himself as a conservative businessman and frequently emphasizes his status as a certified financial planner, saying Congress needs more “common-sense representation.”
The 48th Congressional District map now covers a large portion of East County in San Diego, extending from the U.S.-Mexico border into Temecula. Local communities include Poway, Santee, Lakeside, Alpine, Ramona and part of Escondido. Non-partisan analysts rate the new 48th a “solid Republican” district.
Republican Rep. Darrell Issa is a familiar face in both the San Diego region and in Washington, where he serves on the powerful House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees. Issa has long made border security and immigration central issues in his campaigns, and he’s a prominent critic of the Biden administration.
He took a commanding lead in the early going, and the Associated Press called his advance to the general less than an hour after polls closed.
While many ballots remained to be counted, in early returns he appeared set for a matchup with Democrat Stephen Houlahan.
Houlahan, a nurse, emphasizes COVID-19 and public health issues in his campaign literature, calling for greater access to affordable health care. That includes expanding Medicare to cover more people and also proposing a new program, “Medikid,” for uninsured children.
He also advocated for legislation that protects consumers from “price-gouging” in turbulent times and to “make the tax system fairer” by targeting corporations for higher rates.
The new 50th Congressional District encompasses coastal and central neighborhoods in the city of San Diego, plus Coronado, San Marcos and a portion of Escondido in North County. Non-partisan analysts rate the 50th a “solid Democratic” district.
Peters, a Democrat, has represented parts of San Diego County in Congress since 2013. Peters serves on the House Energy and Commerce and Budget committees.
Peters says he has a proven track record of helping San Diego grow its economy, including securing major federal funding for scientific research and for local military facilities. He supports expanding to some form of universal health care and taking more steps to address climate change.
He took a commanding lead early and the Associated Press called his advance to the November general election.
While many ballots remained to be counted, early returns showed he appeared set for a run-off with Republican Corey Gustafson, a business owner and educator. His campaign website lists his foundational beliefs as “individual liberty, opportunity, limited government and American Exceptionalism.”
The 51st Congressional District map covers the heart of urban San Diego, from the College Area to Normal Heights and Kensington, Linda Vista and Clairemont, Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch and more. It’s widely considered a solid blue district.
Jacobs, a Democrat, was elected in 2020 and serves on the House Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees. She’s San Diego’s youngest member of Congress.
Jacobs has touted her role in temporarily expanding the child tax credit and co-authoring parts of the Build Back Better COVID-19 recovery plan. Jacobs has also called for a transition to a “clean energy economy” and advocates for a complete overhaul of the U.S. immigration system, including a pathway to citizenship for “Dreamers.”
She took a commanding lead early and the Associated Press promptly called her advance to the November general election.
While many ballots remained to be counted, in early returns, she looked set to face off with Republican Stan Caplan.
Caplan is a small business owner. He highlights his personal experience as a longtime San Diego resident and a single parent who can speak for “common sense solutions” instead of “political nonsense.” He lists reducing gas prices and overall energy costs as a top priority, saying the U.S. should produce more of its own oil and natural gas.
The 52nd Congressional District map encompasses San Diego County’s South Bay, with Chula Vista and National City along with Imperial Beach and the border communities of San Ysidro and Otay Mesa. Non-partisan analysts rate the 52nd a “solid Democratic” district.
Vargas, a former San Diego City council member, serves on the House Financial Services and Foreign Affairs committees.
Vargas lists tackling climate change among his top priorities, saying he supports the Green New Deal framework. He also highlights his support for U.S. military veterans, calls for comprehensive immigration reform and anti-discrimination laws that protect people’s sexual orientation and gender identity.
Vargas took a commanding lead in the early going.
Republican Tyler Geffeney, a minister and business owner led Democrat Joaquín Vázquez, a repeat challenger of Vargas, was in the competition for second place — though many votes were left to be counted.