As the 2018 midterm elections heat up, with Primary election day, June 5 in California, many citizens across the country are questioning their elected officials on both sides on whether they support their district’s best interest or the two-party establishment in Washington DC. One of those candidates who seems to be sincerely interested in representing the people is Shamus Sayed, who is running in the California 50th District, against incumbent Congressman Duncan Hunter Jr. and three other candidates, one other Republican and two Democrats. Sayed sat down with the Miller News Service to discuss the upcoming primary race and what he has to offer to the people of the 50th District.
His Background: Sayed was born to Indian parents who immigrated to San Diego, where he lived in the city of Poway for 40 years. He has been married for 11 years and has two sons, age 7 and 4. He graduated from UCSD in general and molecular biology. He worked in the corporate world until the late 2000’s to become a small business owner of Interpreters Unlimited, which provides language services to school districts, municipalities, and the healthcare industry.
Misuse of Campaign Funds of Duncan Hunter Jr.: Due to an ongoing investigation by the F.B.I. into the misuse of campaign funds by Congressman Hunter Jr. and his wife Margaret, who is the one who holds the campaign credit card, it has put the so-called “safe seat” for Republicans up for grabs. Three Democrats and two Republicans are currently running against Hunter. Under California’s state, primary election rules the top two candidates, as determined by the voters in the Primary election June 5, despite party affiliations will advance to the General Election in November. One of the Republican candidates running for Congressman Hunter’s embattled seat is Shamus Sayed. The other is the mayor of El Cajon, Bill Wells.
Sayed’s View of Duncan Hunter Jr.: Sayed did not mince words when asked about the state of the 50th district represented by Hunter. He believes that “Congressman Hunter is out of touch with his constitutes.” He stated, “Some individuals have reached Hunter’ office multiple times but have received no response back from him.” Shamus describes going to Temecula City Hall, one of Hunter’s district offices, several times. He said that there were not a lot of people in that office. He asked Hunter’s staff, “Has Hunter been here lately?” They responded “No.” He also added that “Hunter covers the ABC’s, not the DEF’s in a complex district,” meaning that Congressman Hunter only covers the basics, not all the issues that exist in the 50th congressional district. On May 3rd of this year, Sayed released an ad on YouTube and Social Media entitled The Vaporizer, in which he shows Congressman Hunter vaping from a pipe. The ad also attacks Congressman Hunter’s record. When asked the reason for the ad, Sayed said he was describing Hunter’s habits [There are also rumors of a drinking problem], his way of life and the way that Hunter does business. He adds, “That isn’t the way one should conduct himself in his office or on the house floor.” Regarding the aforementioned FBI investigation into Congressman Hunter, Sayed had this to say, “I wouldn’t be lying and I am sure I can speak for many of the other candidates, that we all wouldn’t be in it if we didn’t think there was a vulnerability.” He also added, “If there is an indictment of Hunter before now or three weeks from now, I would still be in the race and I would still follow through until the general election in November.”
Confused Voters about Duncan Hunter Jr: According to a recent article in POLITICO, some voters are confused thinking that Duncan Hunter Jr. and his father Duncan Hunter Sr. are “the same person.” Duncan L. Hunter Sr. was a very popular conservative congressman who served California’s 52nd, 45th and 42nd districts for 14 years until 2007. In 2008, he helped his son Duncan Jr. to be elected to take his place. We asked Sayed about this, his response was, “That sort of notion is accepted and that voters think that it is not a positive.”
Primary Objective – to Represent the People: Sayed says if elected, his primary job would be to represent the people of the 50th district. and “If I cannot represent my district, then I have no business being on the Hill.” He describes himself as “fiscally conservative but socially moderate.” He says “He is indifferent on social issues because he focuses on the individual and the human first.” He also says “that he has a team within his own organization that crosses all those lines, checks all those boxes and that my team is something that I hold very near and dear.” He believes that “taking a position [on social issues] would take away my ability of being objective and finding the best possible team.” He says, “However if a vote comes up regarding social issues I will follow the direction that best represents my district period.” However, Sayed contradicted himself this past January (2018) in a San Diego Magazine in which he said about woman’s issues “I have full faith and trust that all females have the ability to make that decision,” regarding abortion.
Regarding the 2nd Amendment, Sayed stated, “He supports the 2nd Amendment,” and that he is “an NRA (National Rifle Association) Member.”
Fundraising: Sayed’s other GOP opponent El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells told POLITICO that it “has been impossible to raise money and that people are afraid of retribution or destroying their own political career [if they give to any other candidate], due to the Hunter dynasty.” Sayed replied about this, “I put money into my own campaign, and I can’t ask people for money if I haven’t invested in myself.” He continues “Business 101 — first money in, last money out.”
Positive Attitude: Sayed has a positive attitude which he says involves “keep showing your face, keep being there and that you’re in to win! You’re in it to make a difference!” The result is, says Sayed, “Some of these people (former Hunter supporters and donors) have become donors of mine, and that, some of these people have already voted for me.”
Views on Health Care: Sayed referred to his recent comments in an article in the Valley Center Roadrunner, a local newspaper, where he said, “The Affordable Care Act was great in concept, no question, that it’s one of the common objectives to provide affordable quality health care.” But when asked whether that view was seen by those in the 50th district and certain parts of the United States, Sayed acknowledged that he “would support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.” When asked what his solution would be in replacing the ACA, he said he would “open state lines so people would have access to other health plans.” He also believes that “the government should give small businesses a tax break for providing health care to their employees.”
Views on Education: Sayed said, “We need more money allocated to our districts.” He tells us he has done several presentations in a classroom setting to young voters. He says at the end of the presentation he will chat with teachers and ask them, “Of all the supplies on this commonplace table, markers, crayons, scissors, paper etc. how much of this did you personally buy Mr. or Ms. Teacher?” One teacher told him, “I bought them all.” Another teacher told him, “I bought 3 out 5 of these items.” Sayed says, “Teachers are spending a lot of their own money on their own classrooms.” He also talked about how over-crowed AP (Advanced Placement) classes. Some of them have 41 students in one classroom. He thinks that is “too much.” When asked if recent high-school graduates lack the skills to work in today’s workforce, he agreed. He stated, “Graduates lack some of the fundamental skills in the business world.” But he added, “There are other strengths that can help foster that weakness.” He said, “Millennials want an environment where they can have the ability to be more creative and have more flexibility in their thought process with the hopes of them being more effective in the workplace.” He added, “An open workspace environment is key to fostering that mindset, and we need to mutually understand where those strengths and weakness are and complement or supplement where needed.” When asked about whether he supports standardized testing, he said, “He is not a big fan of standardized testing. It takes away why kids are going to school, to begin with.”
Editor’s Note on U.S. Education: According to stats provided by the World Top 20 Project the U.S. in 2017 ranked 15 in three education levels – Primary, Secondary, and College. After, finishing number one in the second quarter rankings in 2017, the U.S. dropped out of the top 20 rankings in the third quarter and returned to finish four positions higher than their first quarter projected ranking. South Korea was declared the best-educated country in 2017. Making it four years in a row, South Korea’s education system also ranked in the top 15 in all five-education levels of the World Top 20 Education Poll while Japan’s education system finished number two for the fourth year in a row.
How Far The 50th District Stretches: The 50th Congressional district, according to Wikipedia, covers the suburban and outlying areas of San Diego County: Fallbrook, San Marcos, Valley Center, Ramona, Escondido, Santee, Lakeside, parts of El Cajon and mountain and desert areas stretching east to the Imperial County line. The district also extends slightly into the southwestern area of Riverside County where the city of Temecula is located.”
It appears that Mr.Sayed wants to go to Washington for the sole reason to represent the people of California’s 50th district and he promises to cover not only the ABC’s (the basics), but also the DEF’s and all the issues necessary to be covered in such a complex district.
For more information on Shamus Sayed please click this link Shamus For Congress.
Primary day in California is on June 5th, 2018.
Editor’s Note: The Miller News Service made multiple attempts to contact Mayor Bill Wells of El Cajon for an interview for this article, but Mayor Wells did not respond to our requests for an interview.
Editor’s Disclaimer: This article is not an endorsement of Shamus Sayed; the opinions in this article are of Shamus Sayed, not the reporter.
© 2018 Miller News Service