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A retired Navy SEAL is running to unseat embattled Marine vet turned congressman Duncan Hunter in California
Republican Larry Wilske, a retired Navy SEAL, officially announced his candidacy in California's 50th Congressional District, vying for a seat currently held by embattled Rep. Duncan D. Hunter.
Wilske is the first Republican challenger to officially declare his candidacy for Hunter's seat. Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, who mounted a challenge for Hunter's seat in 2018, have both filed paperwork to run for the seat.
Wilske said in an interview Wednesday that he would try to win, whether it's in a general or a special election. But Wilske did not criticize Hunter; he praised the voting records of Hunter and his father, former congressman Duncan Hunter Sr., who previously held the seat for 28 years.
Wilske stressed the importance of ensuring San Diego's congressional delegation has at least one Republican, given the uncertainty of Hunter's future.
"Me running is just me running; it is not about beating up on a fellow combat vet," Wilske said. "I hope Duncan comes out of this okay, but we're gonna be realistic about it. We've got to be prepared to not vacate that seat."
Wilske said his priorities include supporting the 2nd Amendment, immigration reform, border security, and continuing tax reform.
Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, who came up short in his challenge of Hunter last fall, is vying for the seat again in 2020.
Wilske, 58, is a San Diego native who served in the Navy for 30 years. He has operated a maritime charter business and worked as a consultant for military logistics since retiring from the Navy.
He also has run for elected office before.
In 2014, he unsuccessfully tried to unseat longtime Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, in the 53rd District, which encompasses central and eastern San Diego. He lost by about 17 percentage points.
Then last year Wilske squared off against Assemblymember Randy Voepel in the 71st Assembly District, which covers much of East County from Borrego Springs to Spring Valley and pieces of the Inland Empire in Riverside County.
During the primary race, Wilske accused fellow Republican Voepel of "stolen valor," alleging Voepel had wrongly claimed credit for a Combat Action Ribbon.
However, reporting by multiple news organizations including the Union-Tribune found that Voepel did receive a Combat Action Ribbon.
Wilske lost the primary, and Voepel won a second term in the general election in November.
"We're coming to a crossroads as a country and we're beating each other up… we shouldn't be," Wilske said Wednesday, discussing this run for congress. "We need to stop this nonsense of inviting socialism in … and we need to start getting our arms around what makes us great as Americans and start appreciating each other even when we disagree."
©2019 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach to whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year.
After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump didn't wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran.
But four days later, Trump has no timetable for action. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.
That sound you're hearing is Army senior leaders exhaling a sigh of relief, because the Army has surpassed its recruiting goal for the year.
After failing to meet recruiting goals in 2018, the Army put the pedal to the metal and "did some soul searching," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, to ensure that they'd meet their 2019 goal. It must have paid off — the service announced on Tuesday that more than 68,000 recruits have signed on as active-duty soldiers, and more soldiers have stuck around than they expected.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.
"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."
SAN DIEGO — A San Diego-based Navy SEAL acquitted of murder in a closely watched war crimes trial this summer has filed a lawsuit against two of his former attorneys and a military legal defense nonprofit, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Texas on Friday.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — The Air Force is reviewing whether some airmen's valor awards deserve to be upgraded to the Medal of Honor, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said on Tuesday.
Goldfein revealed that several airmen are being considered for the nation's highest military award during a press conference at the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. He declined to say exactly who could receive the Medal of Honor, pending the outcome of the review process.