One North County businessman faces an uphill battle in his campaign to dethrone senior U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein in Tuesday's primary.
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A total of 24 candidates are vying for the Senate spot. Oceanside resident Dan Hughes is one of them.
"I'm the grassroots candidate," Hughes said.
Sen. Feinstein, who has held the spot since 1992, is a shoo-in for Tuesday's primary. An exclusive scientific 10News poll shows 42 percent of those polled would vote for her. The nearest contenders are at 4 percent. That small percentage is split between autism advocate Republican Elizabeth Emken and Hughes.
Hughes has lived in Oceanside for more than a decade and is the CEO of a hospital services company. He knows there is a tough road ahead to even get a shot at beating Feinstein in November.
"I liken it to climbing Mount Everest barefoot," he told 10News when asked about taking on the political giant. "Realistically, it's going to take the right set of circumstances [and] the right time in November with the right message."
Fourteen of the candidates competing for the senator spot are Republican, including Hughes. Most are unknown and underfunded, except Feinstein.
Feinstein's campaign manager, Bill Carrick, said there are two challenges in her road to re-election and they are not the other candidates.
Carrick said one of the hurdles is apathy among voters. The other is just finding Feinstein's name on the ballot.
"You're going to have to be patient with the ballot," he said.
When asked if Feinstein was confident about her chances, Carrick said she "always runs scared."
He added, "I would say she feels pretty good about it, but nothing's a certainty in politics."
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