Republican Josh Schoonover’s challenge to GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter was short-lived. Announcing his bid Monday, he spoke of being “frustrated by my congressman’s inability to conduct himself in an ethical manner” and said, “I can’t sit on the sidelines any longer.”
By Wednesday morning, after Rep. Darrell Issa announced he no longer would seek reelection in the neighboring 49th Congressional District, Schoonover had changed his mind.
“I think I resonate better with the people [in Issa’s district], better than Issa who’s a career politician,” said Schoonover, an attorney who lives in Hunter’s district. He said a business leader and supporter of Issa called him Wednesday morning to urge him to run in Issa’s district instead, but he declined to name the person.
Issa reportedly is mulling a run in Hunter’s seat, a district where his mother has a home and would provide a much easier path to victory than the one that left him with a razor-thin reelection margin in 2016.
Hunter, on the other hand, said in a statement Thursday that he’s “100% running for reelection.”
Along with four well-funded Democrats, Schoonover also would face at least two Republicans who have publicly announced campaigns for Issa’s current seat. Assemblyman Rocky Chavez and Board of Equalization Chairwoman Diane Harkey, both Republicans, said Wednesday they would run in the 49th District.