Former California Gov. Pete Wilson endorsed San Juan Capistrano Mayor Brian Maryott Thursday in the race for the 49th Congressional District seat held by freshman Rep. Mike Levin, D-Oceanside.
Wilson touted Maryott’s business experience in his endorsement to represent the district, which includes parts of southern Orange County and northern San Diego County, including Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad and Encinitas, along with the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base.
Wilson, who was San Diego’s mayor from 1971-83, said Maryott “represents a unique chance for our community to send a seasoned elected official to Congress.”
“His extensive career working with families and businesses, as well as managing large and complex business initiatives in his private sector career, will serve District 49 particularly well on the issues that matter most to working families and local employers,” Wilson said.
“He’s an advocate and leader that rises above petty political games and instead focuses on delivering bipartisan, substantive results.”
There was no immediate response to a request to the Levin campaign for comment.
Levin defeated then-state Board of Equalization member Diane Harkey in the November midterm election to flip the seat, long held by Republicans. Cook Political Report’s Partisan Voting Index currently rates the California’s 49th as a swing district, with the Republican Party holding a 3% advantage in voter registration.
Levin ran an unabashedly left campaign against Harkey to win the seat and has since endorsed priorities for the party’s progressive caucus like expanding Medicare and passing a so-called Green New Deal with the goal of mitigating the effects of climate change. Maryott has repeatedly criticized these positions, calling them too extreme for the district.
“I thank Gov. Wilson for his endorsement and confidence in my leadership,” Maryott said. “Like many residents in this district, I am fed up with ineffectiveness of Washington. The current incumbent, Mike Levin, campaigned as a moderate but reverted back to being an extremist agitator once he got to Congress. We deserve better.”
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