California 50: Neither Party Should be Too Comfortable with the Results

June 13, 2006 · 9:59 AM EDT

Republicans held the levees in San Diego County, but nationally the storm is far from over.

Former Congressman Brian Bilbray’s victory in Tuesday’s special election was a costly but necessary victory for a Republican Party searching for any sliver of good news. And conversely, Democrat Francine Busby’s loss showed that a Democratic wave and new Democratic majority is far from a certainty this November.

There are a handful of lessons to be learned from the special election in California’s 50th Congressional District, but it would be inaccurate to label it simply as a bellwether or a sure indicator of the rest of the election cycle.

Both Busby and Bilbray received the focused time, energy and resources from their national parties and activists from across the country. But come November, their rematch will be just one of four dozen or more competitive races from Southern California to Connecticut.

Read the rest of the column in the North County Times from June 11, 2006.