Republican Brian Bilbray, who will face off against Democrat Francine Busby (and two minor candidates) in June to fill the remainder of Duke Cunningham’s 50th US House term, may not have a clear path to his party’s nomination for the full term to be decided in November. On the same day as the special-election runoff, there will be a primary for November. Eric Roach, narrowly defeated by Bilbray for the Republican runoff slot, may enter the June primary, and Howard Kaloogian–who came in third among Republicans–may endorse Roach.
Given that Bilbray could be seen as a weak candidate,* and given that he won only 28.5% of the total number of votes received by Republicans in the first round, it would be surprising if no one were tempted to challenge him for the nomination. In June, unlike in the April vote, only registered Republicans and independents who specifically request a Republican ballot, and not Democrats, will be able to participate in any contest among Republicans for the right to bear the label in November.
*Former and not very distinguished congressman from a (mostly) different district, with a moderate voting record on many key Republican issues, and now a lobbyist.
Click here for the full set of posts on the 50th race and other aspects of the 2006 congressional elections.