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Update: Republican Congressional Candidate May Move to IB

Crimmins will face State Senator Juan Vargas in November, and if elected, said he will move to IB.

Story updated 6:20 p.m. to include additional quotes from Michael Crimmins.

Republican Michael Crimmins, who will face State Senator Juan Vargas in November elections for California's 51st Congressional District, said he will move to Imperial Beach if he is elected.

"I've always lived next to the water," he said.

Crimmins used to live in Coronado and currently lives in Point Loma. IB is the only beach town in the 51st.

He enjoys going to and other local restaurants and spent a lot of time in IB in the 1970s.

"They don't put on pretenses like Coronado or some of these other places," Crimmins said when comparing IB to other beach towns.

The former Marine pilot who beat out a veteran legislator for a spot on the general election ballot in the South Bay congressional district said Thursday he was not surprised at his .

Pundits had figured the November runoff would come down to Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego and ex-Democratic legislator Denise Moreno Ducheny in the 51st District, a stronghold for their party.

But Michael Crimmins, a 64-year-old Republican, collected 21 percent of the vote on Tuesday, seven points better than Moreno Ducheny.

Vargas won with 48 percent in the district that covers part of southern San Diego County and all of Imperial County, while four other candidates split the remaining 17 percent.

The victory puts him in his third straight general election for Congress, having lost to Susan Davis, D-San Diego, in 2008 and 2010. He gained 27 percent the first time and 34 percent in the rematch.

Crimmins told City News Service that his sense from "being on the street'' and a tip-off about private polling data gave him confidence before the primary election.

He said he hopes his message will resonate with voters, many of them Latinos whom he has taught or worked with for years as a teacher at various San Diego schools.

"Down along the border, it's all about immigration,'' Crimmins said.

He wants to strengthen the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico so that we know who is coming into this country but also make it easier for Mexicans to cross by issuing them secure identification cards.

"Post-9/11, we have to know who is coming across that border,'' Crimmins said.

He also supports making improvements to Friendship Park, a spot along the west end of the border fence where separated families visit with each other. Lights and bathrooms would make the park much easier for people to use, he said.

"That resonates with (the families) and is no skin off our teeth," he said, adding that he would like to see a similar park built in Calexico. 

The Tijuana estuary needs to be cleaned up too, he said.

"That whole estuary down there, it's a pigsty. I've been down there quite a bit the whole thing needs to be environmentally cleaned up in regards to the tires, trash, mattress boxes, just the whole cornucopia of our lives that needs to be cleaned up down there," he said.

He said many of the Spanish-speaking residents of the district are Democrats but have Republican values on issues like gay marriage and abortion.

"They're told they're Democrats by their teachers and their parents -- we're Democrats, so you're Democrats,'' Crimmins said.

However Vargas, who lost a primary run in the district to Filner in 2006, may be a formidable opponent in a district with .

Vargas has been a San Diego city councilman and was an assemblyman before moving to the state Senate.

Crimmins, a native New Yorker, said he is divorced and has an adult daughter who is a flight attendant. He said he spent a lot of time in Imperial County during his 21-year career in the Marine Corps, flying to an air base in El Centro and instructing Navy SEALS in the mountains.

The district has been represented by Bob Filner for two decades, but the liberal Democrat is leaving office to run for San Diego mayor. Filner placed a close second in that race on Tuesday to Councilman Carl DeMaio.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Ed Sorrels June 08, 2012 at 06:21 PM
LOOKOUT ! Here comes another carpet bager like the memorable canidate for mayor in 2004 that spent thousands trying to buy the mayors office but this one thiunks we are so stupid we will bite on a promise from a politician (Been there done that) if he think's our town is so special why doesn't he already live here instead that bastion of democracy Point Loma. He like the last one talk's a good game but like the last find's our town a political mean's to an end (Election) rather than a place to live, Raise your children and live out your life. LOL, Altho I wouldn't mind seeing vargas gone !
Joey the Gordo Cat June 09, 2012 at 05:17 PM
dude, stay where you're at. we don't need/want u here. go away. it would be one republication too many. need way more progressives.
Libi Uremovic June 09, 2012 at 10:39 PM
'...Republican values on issues like gay marriage and abortion....' breeding and denying others their civil rights is exactly why you will not get my vote... you want 'every child born'? then put up the money up front for their education, food, housing, AND their health care... we desperately need a conservative political party in this country.....
Libi Uremovic June 09, 2012 at 10:42 PM
'...He also supports making improvements to Friendship Park, ... Lights and bathrooms ...."That resonates with (the families) and is no skin off our teeth,"..." no skin? why is that...because lights, bathrooms, and the maintence will rain down from the heavens for free... ...or because you have no intention of actually implimenting the plan...?
john keltner June 10, 2012 at 03:07 AM
1) He's right about Friendship Park. It's a pit and poignant - it should be improved and made more accessible ... what's with the gate being closed all the time? Rather than build walls w/ our closest neighbor we need to build "bridges". Immigration needs to be normalized - why should it take a year to immigrate a spouse? 2) Why are democrats so quick to flush the unborn down the toilet? The pro-abortion lobby have spun their agenda to be more palatable by calling it a woman's right to choose ... when the real agenda is population control - of the poor. Margaret Sanger, founder of planned parenthood - in her own words - http://www.dianedew.com/sanger.htm The argument that some of the greatest men in history came from humble beginnings misses the mark with Social Engineers. Struggle builds character! 3) One last thing - District 51 - all the way to AZ border - really ?!?! What exactly do we have in common with Californians on the other side of the Tecate Divide - other than the Mexican Border? Aren't our regional concerns more associated to coastal issues or the rest of San Diego County? It seems they divvied up the new district by race - personally I find that highly insulting. Also, with such a highly diverse populace it's very likely that neither our concerns nor those of Imperial Valley will be effectively represented. 4) Also, I do agree w/ Mr. Sorrels - we'd be better off w/o Mr. Vargas.
Libi Uremovic June 10, 2012 at 04:25 AM
i don't know about the dem agenda because i don't belong to political parties... 'every child born' is the most ridiculously liberal stance ever invented... no one should be allowed to breed unless they are mentally and financially able to care for the child..breeding is the fast track to poverty whether it's on an individual or national basis....but i'm a conservative... we need a conservative political party in this country...one that believes in individual rights and understands the costs associated with their 'beliefs'... the gop and dems are just two sides of the same liberal socialist agenda...the gop screams to breed and the dems scream to take care of them after they're born...
Mike G June 11, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Once again we're left to choose from the lesser of two evils, but in this case my choice would not be the devil I know, i.e., uber liberal Juan Vargas. It's all a moot point anyway. There is no way a 'Pub' can carry a district with this ethnic and economic demographic.
Tia Juana July 03, 2012 at 02:19 AM
and once again the Mexicans can't see the forrest for the trees, they can't stand Juan Vargas, who can't stand them and cannot even speak Spanish yet goes by the first name "Juan" like he belongs, yet they vote him in, so people you will reep what you sew, vote for nobody, get nothing, crimmins, he is yet another story, not a politician, just an old retired military guy who wants your money to run for office, I say take that military pension and spend it if you want to make a campaign, but it doesn't matter the Mexicans have no idea what or whom they are voting for, no idea whatsoever, maybe we should request a recievership for the District, you know like they did in the Imperial Valley a few weeks ago, the government took over the schools in Calexico because they are not good enough to run them themselves, you cannot expect other people to think better of you until you prove that you are indeed capable of better
Dave Fenner July 03, 2012 at 05:30 AM
No, we need him. we need ANYBODY other than Vargas. For pete's sake, Filner was bad enough, time to get some decent representation here.
iblindalou July 07, 2012 at 07:30 PM
you want 'every child born' Now that's just an abomination! Imagine giving every child the chance to live! Unheard of!

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