Challenger to Darrell Issa's Seat Could be Youngest Congresswoman

Not yet 30, Sara Jacobs' resume includes working the State Department and and as a policy adviser for the Hillary Clinton campaign

Sara Jacobs, a Democrat challenging Rep. Darrel Issa’s seat, would be the youngest woman elected to Congress – if she wins.

Jacobs, 28, said she was surprised when she found out Issa planned to retire this year.

“It certainly was a surprise,” she told NBC 7’s Gene Cubbison on “Politically Speaking” Sunday. “We’d heard rumors but we weren’t expecting the announcement.” But, she said, she never felt the race was about one person. “It was about voters in the 49th district having a representative that shares their values, that will stand up to Donald Trump and that will work for them every day on behalf of them and their families,” she explained.

Although young, Jacobs has an impressive resume that includes working in the State Department and as a foreign policy advisor to the Hillary Clinton campaign. 

Jacobs enters a race already crowded with three other Democrats and two Republicans.

The 49th District, which includes Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, Encinitas and a small part of Orange County, is considered to be one of the most vulnerable for Republicans in the country this year. Issa won the seat in 2016 by fewer than 2,000 votes, and in the last two presidential elections, the voters went for Obama and Clinton.

“What we need is voters who voted for Hillary Clinton to also vote for the Democratic Congressional candidate and then we’ll be able to win,” she said confidently. “I think with my background working at the State Department, working as a foreign policy advisor to Secretary Clinton and with my demographic advantages, being able to bring young people, being able to bring women out to the polls, I think we’ll be able to do that.”

Her most important issues are affordable housing, health care, good public schools and closing the opportunity gap. Since the district includes Camp Pendleton, the largest Marine base in the world, she is also focused on helping military families.

“We have around 32,000 military families who have to visit the food bank, which is totally unconscionable if you think about what our defense budget is,” she told Cubbison. “There’s a lot that we can do to make their lives better, which is a big component of our force readiness so that we’re actually able to be a leader on the world stage. That includes making it easier for them to access childcare on and off base, making the transfer schedule more aligned with the school schedules so that kids can stay in school and helping military spouses [be able to] transfer their credentials across states when they have to move.”

Jacobs and the other challengers for Issa’s seat will face off in the nonpartisan primary on June 5.

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