by Garrett Frisk
It's that time once again, where Diamond Eye Candidate Report takes a look at the candidates for U.S. House in California who have yet to receive attention from other media sources. But before we begin, we have updates on two of the candidates mentioned in previous roundups. Diamond Eye Candidate Report previously noted that meteorologist and community activist Ben Dewell was running in the 20th district as a Democrat, while Republican businessman Stan Caplan was running again for the 51st district after reaching the general election in 2022. Since then, both Dewell and Caplan have indicated they will run as independents.
With that out of the way, onto the roundup. As always, all of the following candidates have filed with the FEC and confirmed that they will be running in the 2024 elections.
In the 3rd district, freshman Republican Kevin Kiley has his first Democratic challenger, as eCommerce businessman Douglas Huhn has stepped up to run. Kiley, a former state assemblyman who gained prominence for his candidacy in the 2021 gubernatorial recall election, was first elected to this district in 2022 with 53.6% of the vote. This is considered a battleground district for 2024, and it is likely that more Democrats will join the race. Huhn's campaign website can be found here.
In the 14th district, Democratic incumbent Eric Swalwell is facing a challenge from Republican Joseph "Doc" Grcar. Grcar, a computational scientist, ran for the 20th district of the California State Assembly in 2022; he took 21.7% of the vote in the primary, missing out on the general election by less than 3%. Much like the state assembly district Grcar ran for, the 14th congressional district is very liberal, giving Swalwell 69.3% of the vote in his 2022 re-election campaign. Grcar's website can be found here.
In the 23rd district, Democrat Miguel Arceo has joined the race against two-term Republican incumbent Jay Obernolte. Arceo is a supporter of Bernie Sanders and his Medicare for All proposal. He faces an uphill battle against Obernolte, who defeated Democrat Derek Marshall with 61.0% of the vote in his 2022 re-election bid; Marshall is also in the running for this district in 2024. Arceo's website can be found here.
In the 25th district, Republican Ian Weeks wants to be his party's standard-bearer against Democrat Raul Ruiz. Weeks ran for the 36th state assembly district in 2022, reaching the general election and polling 46.6% of the vote against incumbent Democrat Eduardo Garcia. Ruiz, for his part, won re-election with 57.4% of the vote in 2022. Weeks, a financial planner, does not seem to have established a campaign website yet, but his campaign Facebook page can be found here.
In the 30th district, a Democrat and a Republican have joined the crowded race to replace Democrat Adam Schiff, who is running for Senate. Steve Dunwoody, an educator and Iraq War veteran, is the Democrat. Dunwoody served as special assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Energy during the Obama administration and is currently the director of government affairs for an environmental group. His website can be found here. The Republican is Eric Sawchuk, a businessman and community activist. Sawchuk's website can be found here. Dunwoody has a much better path to victory than Sawchuk; Schiff was re-elected with 71.1% of the vote in 2022 against another Democrat, nearly matching the 72.2% vote share that Joe Biden took in the district in 2020.
In the 33rd district, Republican Sarah Sun Liew has stepped up to challenge Democratic incumbent Pete Aguilar. Sun Liew is a Korean immigrant who has worked as a real estate and mortgage broker and in the investment management industry. She ran for this district back in 2020 when the incumbent was Democrat Ted Lieu, finishing fourth in the primary with 6.3% of the vote. She then ran for U.S. Senate in 2022, taking just 1.1% of the primary vote. If she reaches the general election, Sun Liew will have a tough time unseating Aguilar, who was re-elected with 57.7% of the vote in 2022. Her website can be found here.
In the 35th district, incumbent Democrat Norma Torres is facing an intra-party challenge from fellow Democrat Melissa May. May is an educator and nonprofit director who was elected to the Mountain View School District Board of Trustees in 2022, though she had to give up her seat in order to care for her dying father. This is a very liberal district, and Torres was re-elected with 57.4% of the vote in 2022. May's website can be found here.
In the 42nd district, freshman Democrat Robert Garcia faces a challenge from a previous foe, as communications consultant Nicole López has announced that she will run again in 2024. López, a communications consultant, was one of several progressive Democrats who ran for this district in 2022 when it was an open seat; due to the split vote, progressives feared that the more moderate Garcia would reach the general election with a Republican opponent. This scenario came to pass, though the Republican's vote share was more than all of the progressives combined. In the general election, Garcia easily dispatched the Republican with 68.4% of the vote. López was not the leading progressive in the 2022 primary, finishing fifth with 3.4% of the vote, but her performance could improve in a one-on-one race with Garcia. In the first quarter of 2023, López raised $50, spent $150, and ended with $200 on hand. Her website can be found here.
Finally, in the 50th district, incumbent Democrat Scott Peters also has an announced intra-party challenger. Timothy Bilash, an obstetrician-gynecologist, is running as a Democrat; he previously ran for this district in 2022, but dropped out before the primary. This is a staunchly liberal district, and Peters was re-elected with 62.8% of the vote in 2022. In the first quarter of 2023, Bilash raised $11,002, spent $9,188, and ended with $2,100 on hand. His website can be found here.