Darrell Issa, the Republican U.S. Representative of California’s 49th congressional district has held his seat for the last 13 years.
But a new contender is toughening up the competition after results from Tuesday’s primary.
Congressman Issa won by just 6,200 votes against Attorney Doug Applegate, a Democratic candidate who is a retired Marine Colonel and Iraq veteran.
NBC 7 caught up with Attorney Doug Applegate Wednesday morning in Oceanside, where he met and had coffee with two dozen people at a neighborhood clubhouse.
Applegate said he did not expect these results from the primary.
“I didn’t see any Democratic challenger to a sitting Congressman ever doing that well,” he said.
The next step for his campaign is to start adding more donors.
“In talking with donors, I was told: ‘if you come within 20 points in the primary, call me back,'" Applegate told NBC 7. “And actually I said, ‘Democrats don’t perform that well in primaries. You are setting a bar that I will never be able to call you back. That’s not fair.’”
Applegate said he has only raised $100,000 for his campaign and his goal is to raise double that amount by the end of this month.
“I didn’t appreciate how difficult it was as a challenger. I was a little naive and said ‘it can’t be that much different than being in the Marine Corp or being a trial attorney.’ It is. It’s a lot different,” he said.
He said he expects this to be tough battle but believes that in this election cycle, it’s not about the money.
The 49th Congressional District runs along the coast line from Dana Point to La Jolla Shores to inland areas, reaching Fallbrook, Vista and Escondido.