Gone to the Dogs: Voices of the Voters in North County - Voice of San Diego

Politics UNVEILING THE UNSEEN

Gone to the Dogs: Voices of the Voters in North County

Voters on both sides of the aisle in North County said their feelings about Rep. Darrell Issa influenced their vote in the race to replace him.

Ben Baligad, a caregiver, said he wants a Republican to hang on to the congressional seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Darrell Issa. / Photo by Ry Rivard

Wendi Hrehovcsik’s polling place was inside of a doggy daycare near Vista.

Hrehovcsik, who is retired, didn’t hesitate to see what that meant for Tuesday’s election.

“This election has really gone to the dogs,” she said.

Across the San Diego portion of the 49th Congressional District, which spans much of North County and spills up into Orange County, everyone seemed worried about California’s “jungle primary,” where the two candidates with the most votes advance to the November election, regardless of party.

Some were happy to replace outgoing Rep. Darrell Issa with a Democrat but worried all the Democrats in the race would kill one another’s chances, resulting in a Republican-on-Republican general election.

Justin Eddy, a guitar teacher with three jobs, also resorted to canine commentary, even though he voted at the Dove Library in Carlsbad.

“I’d vote for a dead dog over Darrell Issa,” Eddy said.

He voted for Democrat Mike Levin.

Eddy was upset that Issa had resisted facing voters before he announced his retirement.

“I grew up in this district, I mean, I should be able to have some interaction with my congressman,” he said.

Other voters were sorry to see Issa go, but were also worried about California’s primary system.

“I think there should be one from each party so we can choose,” said Mary Stanley, a land developer.

Stanley, who is part of the Carlsbad Action Network, a group of conservative women, said after getting the chance to hear a lot of the candidates speak in person, she went with Republican Diane Harkey.

Patricia Quirk also picked Harkey, after Issa endorsed her.

Patricia Quirk said she’s voting for Diane Harkey because she was endorsed by outgoing Rep. Darrell Issa. / Photo by Ry Rivard

“I liked Issa, so I like who he likes,” Quirk, who breeds horses, said.

Jonny Fishinger, a graduate student who is studying the Civil War, said his No. 1 goal was to make sure there was a Democrat on the November ballot. So, he wanted to pick someone who would make it through.

“It was kind of up in the air,” he said.

But a Sierra Club endorsement helped seal his vote for Levin.

Jonny Fishinger, a graduate student , said he voted for Mike Levin after he got the Sierra Club endorsement. / Photo by Ry Rivard

Cory Hughes, a web developer, was dropping off votes for both he and his wife. They decided to split: she supported Sara Jacobs, he backed Levin, based on polling.

“I was looking for the latest polls,” he said, “I saw him taking the lead over the others.”

Matthew Cheung and Christopher Ong, both 18 and students at Pacific Ridge School, were voting for the first time.

They said it was hard to find information about some of the local races and, of course, were dubious of the information candidates were putting out about themselves.

“Further down the ballot, I had more difficulty getting objective analysis about the candidates,” Ong said.

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