This is Essential Politics for August 2017. Find our daily look at California political and government news over here.
Retired Army Sgt. Daniel Casara, who initially stepped up to challenge embattled Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), on Thursday joined other Republicans seeking to oust Democratic Rep. Scott Peters from his 52nd Congressional District seat.
"Washington needs more patriots and less politicians," Casara said in a statement. "Voters demand a representative who understand the needs of a strong national defense and will support the men and women who provide it."
The Purple Heart medal recipient and 43-year-old motivational speaker originally launched a bid against Hunter, a six-term Republican under investigation by the FBI over alleged misuse of campaign funds. Hunter has at least one other Republican challenger.
Peters is one of the California Democrats that Republicans hope to defeat in 2018. Casara joins Republican candidates Omar Qudrat, an attorney; and James Veltmeyer, a physician, in the race for the seat.
Marc Troast, Casara's campaign manager, said Casara respects Hunter, a fellow military serviceman.
"But there are some issues in his home district [Casara] wants to help solve,” Troast said. That was the main reason for the switch, he said.