Joshua Stewart
March 15, 2018

After an extended deadline, 16 candidates have completed paperwork to run for an open seat in Congress, held by retiring Rep. Darrell Issa, making it the busiest race in the San Diego area.

The filing period closed on Wednesday and the approaching deadline did not draw out any big names likely to change the dynamic of the crowded field. The major candidates that previously announced their campaigns all have submitted documents required to appear on the June 5 primary ballot.

Eight Republicans, four Democrats and four third-party candidates have either submitted nomination papers or signatures to appear on the ballot. The Secretary of State must still determine if the contenders meet the requirements to appear on the ballot so the list of candidates could change.

The seat runs from La Jolla to Dana Point and has been one of the most watched in the country after Issa, R-Vista, won re-election in 2016 by a mere 1,621 votes, the closest federal race in the country. Issa announced on Jan. 10 that he would not run for re-election, a decision that drew out Republicans interested in the rare open seat, and also triggered a regulation that extended the filing deadline from March 9 to March 14.

Democrats are concerned their candidates will split the electorate and fail to finish first or second in the state’s top-two primary system, stopping them from advancing to the general election in November.

While they have tried to thin the herd to increase their chances by urging contenders to seek another office, delay their political ambitions or just drop out entirely, only one candidate — attorney Christina Prejean — has left the race.

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