Candidates start declaring for Issa's seat

Republican candidates are already declaring their intention to run for Congressman Darrell Issa's seat in the House of Representatives after the long-time representative's surprise announcement Wednesday that he would not seek re-election.

The 49th District takes up a large chunk of North San Diego County and parts of southern Orange County.

State Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside, says he's going to run for the seat. Also, attorney Josh Schoonover, a Republican from San Marcos, is entering the race.

They will run against four Democrats, including Col. Doug Applegate, who barely lost to Issa in 2016. Also in the running are Democrats Sarah Jacobs, Mike Levine, and Paul Kerr.

The state has an open primary in June, and the top two vote-getters will move on to the final in November. 

Republicans Diane Harkey of the Board of Equalization and County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar are the subject of speculation. Harkey's office didn't respond to a request for comment.

Gaspar says she's grateful for people encouraging her to run, but did not provide any details of her plans. 

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