3 Darrell Issa Challengers Emerge Ahead of Next Year's Election

Real estate investor Paul Kerr, environmental lawyer Mike Levin and retired Marine Colonel Doug Applegate all have one thing in common – they want to replace Congressman Darrell Issa in the 49th district.

Hundreds of constituents packed A Vista community center Saturday to hear what each challenger had to say.

“We must make college affordable for lower income and middle-class families,” Kerr told NBC 7 during the event.

Issa has held his congressional seat for nine terms but was reelected in 2016 by fewer than 2,000 votes. He was a strong Trump supporter, and Levin sees an opening in Trump's pull out of the Paris Climate agreement.

“I've actually worked across the aisle both at the state and federal level to pass clean energy legislation,” Levin said.

Doug Applegate, who lost to Issa last year, spoke about another hot button issue – health care.

“I was always for single payer health care,” he explained. “I lived in single payer health care in the Tricare VA medical care and we need that for all Americans.”

Reactions to the candidates’ messages were mixed, but one thing is clear: there is already a lot of excitement around next year’s election.

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