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Two weeks after the initial balloting to fill the seat of disgraced former Republican Rep. (1990-2005) Randy "Duke" Cunningham in California’s 50th District (San Diego), no one is really sure which way the run-off in June will go.

Following a campaign in which an unusually high 39% of registered voters cast ballots and more than $2.5 million was spent by candidates on advertising alone, Democrat Francine Busby topped the 18-candidate field with 44% of the vote. Placing second and thus earning the Republican nod against Busby was former U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray, who rolled up 15.2% of the vote. In so doing, Bilbray (lifetime ACU rating: 64%), who moved into the 50th from the neighboring district he formerly represented (1994-2000) and took moderate stands on social issues such as abortion, edged out conservative businessman Eric Roach (14.5%). Trailing Roach (who spent an estimated $2 million of his own money on his first-ever race for office) were two other well-known conservatives: former Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian (7%) and State Sen. Bill Morrow (4%).
Despite obvious differences with Bilbray on issues, the three conservative runners-up and most of the 10 other Republican candidates have weighed in behind the former congressman in his upcoming race against Busby. However, the run-off in the 50th will be held the same day as the June primary elections in which voters nominate candidates for the full two-year term. While endorsing Bilbray for the June run-off, Roach signaled last week he is running against him in the primary the same day.

Bilbray, who worked in Washington for the anti-illegal immigration Federation for American Immigration Reform, is expected to take a hard-line on this issue in the border-area district and distance himself from the Bush Administration on a guest-worker program. Busby opposes building a wall along the U.S. Mexican border and supports providing a path to citizenship for many illegal immigrants.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as ???the man who knows everyone in Washington??? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what???s going on in the nation???s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ???Gizzi on Politics??? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ???Gizzi???s America,??? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John???s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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