From Bwtm

Issa faces three challengers in November election

September 18, 2006 A Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian and a write-in candidate go into the November election.

That may sound like the set up for a political punch-line, but it is no joke. It is the election-year reality in the 49th Congressional District, where U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, 50, a Republican from Vista, faces three challengers in the sprawling, heavily Republican district as he seeks his fourth term in office.

Jeeni Criscenzo, 54, of Oceanside, a Democrat; Lars Grossmith, 47, of Oceanside, a Libertarian who has run against Issa before; and Frank Ford, 73, of Fallbrook, a self-described lifelong Republican mounting a potential write-in candidacy, are vying to oust Issa from the congressional seat he has held since he first took the oath of office in January 2001.

The 49th District covers much of North County and Southwest Riverside County, including Oceanside, Vista, Fallbrook and Lake Elsinore. Nearly half of the registered voters in the district are Republicans, with an additional 31 percent registered as Democrats. Issa has garnered about 60 percent of the vote or higher in each of his three previous general elections.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are elected to two-year terms. The current annual salary for a member of Congress is $162,500, according to the Web site of the clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Criscenzo and Grossmith won their parties' nominations to run against Issa without opposition and will appear on the November ballot. To qualify as an official write-in candidate, Ford must submit papers to the county registrar of voters office by Oct. 24, the registrar's candidate filing guide states.

No one had filed the write-in candidacy papers for the 49th Congressional District race as of Thursday morning, according to the registrar's office.

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