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California's 50th congressional district
CA 50th 109th Congress.gif
Current Representative Brian Bilbray (R)
Area 365 mi²
Distribution 97.8% urban, 2.2% rural
Population (2000) 639,087
Median income $59,813
Ethnicity 65.8% White, 1.8% Black, 10.3% Asian, 18.8% Hispanic, 0.3% Native American, 0.2% other
Cook PVI R+3

California's 50th congressional district represents a part of north coastal San Diego County. Its seat in the United States House of Representatives has been represented by Republican Brian Bilbray since the special election of June 13, 2006.

Contents

History

44th District

In the 1980s, California's 44th District was one of four that divided San Diego, California. The district had been held for eight years by Democrat Jim Bates and was considered the most Democratic district in the San Diego area. However, Bates became bogged down in a scandal involving charges of sexual harassment. Randy "Duke" Cunningham won the Republican nomination and hammered Bates about the scandal. Cunningham won by just a point, meaning that the San Diego area was represented entirely by Republicans for only the second time since the city was split into three districts after the 1960 census. After winning, Cunningham changed his official residence from his Del Mar home to a condo in Mission Valley, San Diego, as he was required to reside in his district.

41st District

In the 1980s, California's 41st District was another of four that divided San Diego, California. The North San Diego County district had been held for twelve years by Republican Bill Lowery and was considered the most Republican district in the San Diego area. The District was renumbered as California's 51st District after the 1990 census. In 1992 Cunningham campaigned against Lowery in Lowery's district in the Republican primary. The new 51st District was much more conservative than Cunningham's more urban, old 41st District further south. Lowery, who was tainted by the House check kiting scandal, lost the primary to Cunningham, who billed himself as honest, with his campaign theme of "A Congressman We Can Be Proud Of". Cunningham changed his official residence back to his Del Mar home in the old 41st/new 51st District after winning.

2000s

In the 2000 census, the 51st District was renumbered the 50th District. The district was gerrymandered to exclude the relatively liberal areas of La Jolla, Bird Rock, downtown La Jolla, and UCSD. Those areas were moved to the more liberal 53rd District, and the more conservative community of Clairemont Mesa was added to the new 50th District.

Voting

Election results from statewide races
Year Office Results
2008 President[1] Obama 51.3 - 47.1%
2006 Governor[2] Schwarzenegger 69.9 - 26.3%
Senator[3] Feinstein 50.8 - 45.2%
2004 President[4] Bush 55.2 - 43.9%
Senator[5] Jones 48.2 - 48.1%
2003 Recall[6][7] Yes 68.0 - 32.0%
Schwarzenegger 63.1 - 20.3%
2002 Governor[8] Simon 55.6 - 37.3%
2000 President[9] Gore 59.0 - 37.2%
Senator[10] Feinstein 64.4 - 27.8%
1998 Governor
Senator
1996 President
1994 Governor
Senator
1992 President Clinton 48.8 - 30.0%
Senator Boxer 49.8 - 39.0%
Senator Feinstein 54.5 - 35.6%

List of Representatives

Counties Representative Party Dates Notes
San Diego
(southern suburbs)
Bob Filner Democratic January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2003 Redistricted from 41st district.
Redistricted to 51st district.
San Diego
(northern suburbs)
Duke Cunningham Republican January 3, 2003 – December 1, 2005 Redistricted from 51st district; resigned.
Vacant December 1, 2005 – June 13, 2006
Brian Bilbray Republican June 13, 2006 – present Incumbent.

Election results

1992

United States House of Representatives elections, 1992[11]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Bob Filner 77,293 56.6%
Republican Tony Valencia 39,531 28.9%
Libertarian Barbara Hutchinson 15,489 11.3%
Peace and Freedom Roger Bruce Batchelder 4,250 3.1%
No party Pickard (write-in) 63 0.1%
Totals 136,626 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic gain from Republican

1994

United States House of Representatives elections, 1994[12]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Bob Filner (incumbent) 59,214 58.90%
Republican Mary Alice Acevedo 36,955 32.50%
Libertarian Richardo Duenez 3,326 3.18%
Peace and Freedom Guillermo Ramirez 3,002 2.87%
Green Kip Krueger 1,954 1.87%
Totals 118,340 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold

1996

United States House of Representatives elections, 1996[13]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Bob Filner (incumbent) 73,200 58.9%
Republican Jim Baize 38,351 32.5%
Reform Dan Clark 3,253 2.7%
Natural Law Earl Shepard 6,573 1.8%
Libertarian Philip Zoebisch 1,398 1.1%
Totals 118,340 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold

1998

United States House of Representatives elections, 1998[14]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Bob Filner (incumbent) 77,354 99.18%
No party Jon Parungoa (write-in) 596 0.77%
Republican Petra E. Barajas (write-in) 41 0.05%
Totals 77,991 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold

2000

United States House of Representatives elections, 2000[15]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Bob Filner (incumbent) 95,191 68.3%
Republican Bob Divine 38,526 27.7%
Libertarian David A. Willoughby 3,472 2.4%
Natural Law LeAnn S. Kendall 2,283 1.6%
Totals 139,472 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Democratic hold

2002

United States House of Representatives elections, 2002[16]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Duke Cunningham (inc.) 111,095 64.4%
Democratic Del G. Stewart 55,855 32.3%
Libertarian Richard M. Fontanesi 5,751 3.3%
Totals 172,701 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold

2004

United States House of Representatives elections, 2004[17]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Duke Cunningham (inc.) 169,025 58.5%
Democratic Francine Busby 105,590 36.5%
Green Gary M. Waayers 6,504 2.2%
American Independent Diane Templin 4,723 1.6%
Libertarian Brandon C. Osborne 3,486 1.2%
Totals 289,328 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold

2006 (Special)

Representative Cunningham resigned on November 28, 2005, as a result of a bribery scandal. An open special election was held on April 11, 2006. The top vote getter was Democrat Francine Busby, who won 44% of the vote. The second place finisher was Republican Brian Bilbray, who won 15% of the vote. Paul King was the top Libertarian party vote getter, with 0.6% of the vote. Since no candidate received a simple majority, the top vote-getters in each party competed in a runoff or special general election on June 6, 2006 (the same day as the statewide California primary). Bilbray was sworn in on June 13, based on unofficial counts, two weeks before the election was certified. As a consequence of this action, a court challenge to the election results filed by voters was denied on jurisdictional grounds.[18] This decision is being appealed.

California 50th congressional district special election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Brian Bilbray 64,554 49.5%
Democratic Francine Busby 59,021 45.3%
Independent William Griffith 4,846 3.7%
Libertarian Paul King 1,995 1.5%
Totals 134,302 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold

2006

United States House of Representatives elections, 2006[19]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Brian Bilbray (incumbent) 118,018 53.2%
Democratic Francine Busby 96,612 43.5%
Libertarian Paul King 4,119 1.8%
Peace and Freedom Miriam E. Clark 3,353 1.5%
Totals 222,102 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold

References in popular culture

On November 29, 2005, Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report declared on his show that the 50th Congressional District was "dead" to him after its insufficient support for his "friend" Duke Cunningham. Colbert placed the district on the show's ever-changing "Dead to Me" board, saying that he now considered the number of congressional districts in the United States to be 434. The number became 433 when he retired the 22nd District of Texas and sent it up to the rafters. However, on June 8, 2006, the eve of Tom Delay's leaving Congress, Colbert returned the district to the board with a satirical "tribute" to DeLay, followed by a fake interview segment made from spliced-together clips of three interviews DeLay had done in the past. Colbert put the district back into retirement at the end of the segment. On March 1, 2006, he "downgraded" the 50th District's status from "dead to me" to "never existed to me."[20]

References

External links








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