When congressman Darryl Issa said he would not stand for reelection, Rocky Chavez gave up his seat as state assemblyman representing Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, and Vista so he could run for Issa’s seat.
While early polls looked good for Chavez, he came in sixth, meaning he was again headed for retirement in December. Two weeks ago Chavez made the surprising announcement he would run for a seat on the Tri-City Hospital’s board of directors, representing a northeastern chunk of Oceanside.
“You usually don’t go from playing on a Double A baseball team to playing on a local pickup softball team,” is how Carl Luna at San Diego Mesa College, described Chavez’s run for a down-ballot office.
In a recent Coast News article announcing Chavez’s run for Tri-City Healthcare’s District 2, Chavez did not mention health care issues, but he made it clear that he had a good shot in that race because he had better name recognition.
The name Rocky Chavez was placed before voters’ eyes thanks to a recent mass mailing. Chavez took advantage of the franking privilege afforded lawmakers with a mailer sent out to registered voters in his district. One side said nothing except “Put an end to human trafficking.” On the other side the biggest letters were “Rocky Chavez,” followed by text on human trafficking.
Chavez introduced three bills on human trafficking in 2016. All three failed passage.
Registered voters in Congressman Duncan Hunter’s 50th district recently found a full-color piece on card stock in their mailbox that announced that “U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter is Taking Action” fighting the gas tax. The indicted congressman invited constituents to “Tell Congressman Hunter how you feel about the gas tax.”
Hunter’s press officer Michael Harrison was asked via email if the congressman knew this was a state of California tax and not a federal issue. Harrison did not bother to answer that question, nor did he disclose how much the mailer cost.
“It’s legal but it’s not ethical,” says Escondido Democrat Patrick Malloy who got more than 103,000 votes when he ran against Hunter in 2016. “I think you call that brand marketing.”
Realtor Malloy also ran in 2018. He says he will soldier on in spite of getting ignored by the local Democratic machine during both elections. “I feel Hunter will prevail in November, but since he is likely to get thrown in jail you will see my name on the ballot for the special election.”
Malloy predicts the name of the elder Duncan L. Hunter will also be on that special election ballot to reclaim the seat he passed on to the younger Duncan D. Hunter.