SAN DIEGO — Former representative for California’s 48th and 49th Legislative Districts Darrell Issa received two endorsements Thursday from major Republican notables Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich in his campaign for California’s 50th District seat, which a rival candidate termed the product of political “favors.”
Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and two-time Republican candidate for President, recorded a radio ad for Issa.
“I know for a fact President Trump trusts Darrell and can rely on him. Darrell will help the president build the wall and secure our borders,” Huckabee said.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who is also a former GOP presidential candidate, endorsed Issa on his twitter account and in a radio ad filmed for the Issa campaign.
“I know he’s a solid conservative. I know he’s the kind of person that President Trump needs in Washington. I know that he’s fought to clean the swamp up long before most people had ever heard the term,” Gingrich said in the ad.
California’s 50th District seat was recently vacated by Rep. Duncan Hunter, who had pleaded guilty to one count of misusing campaign funds. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.
Issa’s main competition for the district includes a Republican challenge from Carl DeMaio and one from Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar.
DeMaio’s campaign issued a statement deriding the endorsements as the product of unspecified political “favors.”
“It’s no surprise that after nearly 20 years of hanging out in the swamp, career politicians are now returning favors for Darrell Issa,” the campaign’s statement read. “Fortunately, San Diegans know Carl DeMaio is the fighter President Trump needs to have his back in Congress.”
DeMaio received endorsements earlier this week from border security advocates and former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock, who cited support for DeMaio’s “5-point Border Security Initiative,” aimed at halting illegal immigration through a number of initiatives, including funding the border wall, reforming immigration and asylum laws, and repealing sanctuary state laws.
Also on the ballot for the March 3 primary will be Democrat Marisa Calderon, Republicans Brian Jones and Nathan Wilkins, Independents Helen Horvath, Lucinda Jahn and Henry Ota and Peace and Freedom Party candidate Jose Cortes.