La prensa

​​​​​​​DeMaio Boosting Dem to Benefit His Own Campaign

Carl DeMaio
Author: La Prensa
Created: 09 February, 2024
Updated: 10 February, 2024
5 min read

By Alberto Garcia
Investigative Reporter

A Republican is promoting one of his Democratic opponents in the upcoming Primary Election in hopes of bettering his own chances in a potential runoff election later in the year. 

Republican Carl DeMaio, who previously served one term on the San Diego City Council from 2008 to 2012 and lost a primary run for San Diego Mayor in 2012, is running for the California State Assembly in a six-candidate primary election on March 5th. 

DeMaio jumped into the race to challenge the Republican Party's already-endorsed candidate, Lakeside School Boardmember Andrew Hayes. Hayes is a district representative for State Senator Brian Jones. 

Also in the race are Republican Jack Fernandes and three Democrats, including Kevin Juza, his own Party’s endorsed candidate. 

The six candidates are vying to make the top-two runoff in the November election. 

Current Assemblymember Marie Waldron, whose district includes mostly rural areas of San Diego and the cities of Santee and Poway, cannot seek re-election under the State’s term limits. 

The district is a safe Republican seat and one of the GOP candidates is expected to win the General Election. 

But in recent weeks, online ads and campaign mailers have promoted Juza as the Democrats’ choice; the positive pieces, however, have been paid for by DeMaio’s campaign.

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Text messages sent out last week promote Juza as "the only candidate endorsed by the CA Democratic Party!" and included a link to a website named "".

The email's last line is "By Sam Logan with Carl DeMaio for State Assembly."

That website features Juza and states that there are "three Democrat candidates running for State Assembly. But under California election laws, the top two candidates with the most votes regardless of party will advance to the runoff."

Kevin Juza website funded by Carl DeMaio


The disclaimer at the bottom of the website is "Ad paid for by Carl DeMaio for State Assembly 2024 — FPPC # 1464955'

Political observers suspect DeMaio is hoping he and Juza will make the runoff, giving DeMaio a huge advantage in winning the General Election against the Democrat in the conservative district. 

But if DeMaio and either Hayes or Fernandes make the runoff, DeMaio would presumably have a much more difficult time beating another Republican candidate. 

DeMail has launched a controversial campaign attack on state-funded health care for undocumented immigrants, a hot topic that first sparked political debate in 1994 as Republicans launched Proposition 187 to deny all social services to undocumented immigrants. 

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The political backlash from Prop 187 was severe to Republicans who have seen Latino voters turn toward Democrats in large percentages since 1994. 

The political face of Prop 187 was then-Governor Pete Wilson, a former San Diego City Councilman and Mayor himself, who was running for re-election in 1994. 

Wilson, who had been socially and politically moderate during his early career, took a hard right turn on immigration and crime during the 1994 election cycle as political polls showed the public's frustrations, much like what exists today. 

DeMaio's new campaign claims "Pete was right" when Wilson called for state action to deal with illegal immigration because the federal government failed to stem the flow of unchecked entry into the country. 

After Proposition 187 was passed by voters in a hotly contested election, lawsuits eventually overturned nearly every aspect of the law change, including the provisions that denied health care and education to residents regardless of their immigration status. 

But Proposition 187 served its short-term purpose for Republicans; it lifted Wilson and many of his Party to victory over Democrats, but it also paved the way for huge Democratic election victories given the disproportionate percentage of Latinos who have registered as Democrats since then. 

1994 was also the year that Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich promoted his “Contract with America” that pushed conservative proposals which led to a Republican takeover of Congress and propelled Gingrich into the Speakership. 

DeMaio is tapping into the public’s angst toward the current crisis at the US border with Mexico where large caravans of migrants from Central America, as well as people from all over the world, have amassed along the border and often cross in droves. 

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Republicans in Congress have also been using the immigration crisis to hurt President Joe Biden and amplify attacks from Donald Trump as he runs again for the presidency. 

Just last week, Republicans attempted to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, blaming him for failing to secure the border, and Republicans also killed a bipartisan proposal to reform immigration laws. 

DeMaio did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Currently, DeMaio is the Chairman of Reform California, a non-profit that supports conservative political issues, and also is host of a local AM radio afternoon talk show.  

CORRECTION: an earlier version of the story left out Republican candidate Jack Fernandes and incorrectly called the election a "five-person" race. Six candidates are running for the top two spots in the General Election.

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