Author: Kathleen

The California 3rd Congressional District Race: Why It Matters

The California 3rd Congressional District Race: Why It Matters

Your guide to California’s Congressional District 3 race: Kermit Jones vs. Kevin Kiley

Updated on July 27, 2012

Kevin Kiley, a Republican, defeated a Democrat in California’s 3rd Congressional District to win the seat. Here’s a look at why this race matters.

Updated on July 27, 2012

It’s been about three months since California’s 3rd Congressional District has been in play. The race started when former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., announced he was vacating his seat to become U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. His election sparked heated political talk and prompted the California State Democratic Party (CSDP) to begin its own heated debates.

This fall, those debates have ended with Kevin Kiley defeating Kermit Jones, a San Diego County firefighter.

The race started when the district was represented by Republican Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, and has become the test of whether Democrats can hold the House in the country’s most diverse state, in the year that voters chose to legalize same-sex marriage and marijuana.

When the national media first began paying attention to California’s race, the Democrat was considered to be the favorite. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a former city supervisor, had been campaigning for Kiley. She’d won the Democratic primary and went on to easily win the general election.

In order to win, Kiley had to defeat the Republican, who was being actively supported by two of the state’s most prominent and visible Democratic donors, a real estate developer and former Democratic Assemblyman, Kevin Kiley, and a Republican businessman, Kermit Jones.

The race is the most closely watched to date in the country, as the winner of the election will have to represent the district in Congress for the next eight years and vote against President Obama.

Political experts said the result of the midterm election, which included both a statewide and a congressional election, was largely a referendum on President Obama’s policies, particularly his decision to cut funding to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“This is a referendum on President Obama and his big government agenda,” said Bob Dreher, a veteran political journalist who has covered California politics for more than 30 years.

“There was a real strong message from the electorate on the federal budget,

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