Paul Kerr is one of four Democrats running to make it through the Top-Two Primary and compete in the November general election. One candidate will fill the void left by Republican Darrell Issa in the 49th Congressional District.
Issa's surprise retirement has brought a flurry of activity and candidates for the district that covers the northern coastal areas of San Diego County as well as a small portion of southern Orange County, and the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Kerr, a successful small business owner, San Diego native and graduate of San Diego State University, has arguably been the most visible of the candidates with an aggressive television campaign effort, see below.
Labor Supports Kerr
Many of Paul Kerr's endorsements have come from labor including the Orange County and San Diego City Firefighters Unions. In our interview with Kerr he stated, "I will be a strong and powerful advocate for the labor movement."
Kerr believes the best way to solve the issue of income equality is through education. Kerr says he will advocate for student loan rates to be the same as big bank lenders, vastly dropping the interest rate charges many students face once they graduate. Kerr will also push for pre-K and after-school care funding for every child.
On The Top-Two Primary in California
Kerr tells IVN San Diego, "On the one hand it's a challenge because you have a system in which theoretically two Republicans could make it through, but on the other hand it's a great system in that it forces politicians out of their comfort zone. We must connect with all voters, not just Democrats or Republicans. So that opens up the dialogue for more issues and more points of view, and that's a good thing."
Independent Vote is Critical
In a district like the 49th that is 1/3 Democrat, 1/3 Republican and 1/3 NPP or Independent, it's critical that candidates attract Independent voters to their campaign. Kerr said, "More than either side, I think Independents are absolutely fed up with the lack of civility in Washington. The name game, the finger pointing, the tone of our political discourse, they're absolutely disgusted with it. And we need to change the type of people that we are sending to Congress."
Why Kerr Believes He's The Best Choice For Voters
"I touch on the issues the voters of the 49th District care about most. Healthcare, income inequality, veterans issues in this district and the city in particular are huge, and the way the military is part of the fabric of this community. Education and business as well, and so I'm talking about those things and the reception has been outstanding."