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Diane Harkey. Photo: Courtesy
Diane Harkey. Photo: Courtesy

By Eric Heinz

Following the announcement Wednesday morning by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) that he will not seek re-election for his congressional seat, Diane Harkey, of Dana Point, announced she will run for it on the Republican ticket.

Harkey, who is currently the chair of the California State Board of Equalization and was a state Assembly member from 2008 to 2014, said her experience in finance and banking would be a much-needed attribute to Congress.

“My whole policy has been basically helping Californians stay in business and do more business and collect taxes to help pay for the things we all want,” Harkey said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “I’m very strong on anything that’s financial or budgetary. I have 30 years’ experience in banking and corporate finance.”

Harkey was the mayor of Dana Point in 2007, and she said her experiences with networking throughout the state and governing tax policies across four counties would make her an exceptional representative at the federal level.

“I just think that California needs a very strong voice that understands the business environment and the issues we face,” Harkey said. “(California) has a huge portion of the U.S. economy, 39 million people and only two senators.”

When asked about the challenges on the campaign trail she will likely face—Issa, a Republican, had his closest election in 2016 after easily defeating Democratic candidates since 2001—Harkey said she thinks the Republican contingency is still strong enough to elect her to The Hill.

“It’s still a Republican-favored seat. Whenever an incumbent leaves, there are a bit more (political elements),” Harkey said, adding she’s already assembled a team of consultants and advisers for her campaign, including John Franklin, who worked as Issa’s political director.

Five other candidates have already announced their intent to run for the coveted congressional seat. Last year’s Democratic candidate Doug Applegate, who narrowly lost to Issa, is running again. The three other Democrats running include San Juan Capistrano’s Mike Levin, Rancho Santa Fe’s Paul Kerr and Del Mar’s Sara Jacobs. The fifth candidate is Jordan Mills of Oceanside, a member of the Peace and Freedom Party.

Harkey also said her experience in the state Legislature included much of the same constituents that are in the 49th district.

“I have served the district since I got in the Legislature. Before the redistricting (in 2012), we had Oceanside and Vista in my legislative seat, and I worked with San Diego extensively,” she said. “I have good relationships there, and North San Diego County and South Orange County have a lot of the same issues, and I want to make sure people pay attention to them.”

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comments (6)

  • I will vote for anyone who wants to enforce our immigration laws and has a solution to our homeless epidemic here in Dana Point.

  • “I will vote for anyone who wants to enforce our immigration laws and has a solution to our homeless epidemic here in Dana Point.”

    Amen to that.

  • My heart sank when I heard of Issa’s retirement but came right back up when I heard Diane Harkey was going to fill his shoes in the race in June and November. Let us all get behind Diane and put her in the top 2 for November.
    Mr, Issa, I’m sure has his eyes set on a higher office as he has all the knowledge.

    The Lord’s riches blessings to the both of them.

    Chuck and LaJoyce Robinson.

  • With growing unease about Career Politicians (Chavez, Harkey). Also Corporate/ Union bought Candidates (Applegate, Kerr) Who is gonna look out for the voters? Definitely not the republicans and the democrats. They can’t balance the federal budget, they can’t agree to term limits. They take in big money for agenda’s they are paid to push. Maybe it’s time to look at the 3rd party the Libertarian party candidate for the 49th Congressional District. Vote Joshua Hancock!!

  • I would not vote for this pandering Rethuglican dog if my life depended on it… and anyone with at least half a brain and a functioning heart should not as well… Issa was a scourge on this area, and she would be equally bad, if not worse. Rethuglicans are the antithesis of progress and equality in this country. I simply can’t believe that people continue to support these monsters…our children will be crying, suffering and wondering how this country went so off course.

comments (6)

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