RANCHO SANTA FE — Francine Busby won the endorsement of the Rancho Santa Fe Democratic Club after a debate with opponent Tracy Emblem on Jan. 14. This helps put Busby on track to receive the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray for the seat in the U.S. Congress representing the 50th District.
The newly formed Rancho Santa Fe Democratic Club met at the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club on the evening of Jan. 14 to hold their second annual meeting. More than 100 members attended to elect a new slate of officers and to hear a debate between Francine Busby, a business woman from Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and Tracy Emblem, an attorney from Escondido, both vying for the Democratic nomination for the upcoming Congressional race. Though the women agreed on a variety of different topics, they differed in their strategies to win the district.
Busby: “My strategy is name recognition. But I’m reaching beyond my base. I’m reaching out to the business community. We can bring the green jobs. We’re the ones with high-tech. I am reaching out to them.”
Emblem: “You have to build coalitions. Get the Latino base out to vote. I will get the labor (unions) to work for me. And veterans and seniors.”
“What is the most pressing issue for the district?” moderator Lynn Muto asked.
“Jobs,” Emblem said. “People are out of work. Too many foreclosures. We need community-based banks.”
“The economy,” Busby said. “I want to build on our strengths. Green tech — that is our strength.”
Prior to the debate, the Rancho Santa Fe Democratic Club voted on a new slate of officers. Michael Gelfand was voted president and his officers include Vice President John Venekamp, Treasurer Maria McEneany and Secretary Lawrence Jones. Gelfand owns and operates a real estate investment management firm that specializes in high-quality recreation vehicle parks, mobile home communities and marinas throughout California. He recently completed two elected three-year terms as a commissioner of the California Travel and Tourism Commission.
The endorsement of the Rancho Santa Fe Democratic Club helps Busby in her uphill battle to challenge incumbent Bilbray. “I’m willing to fight for this seat,” she said, her voice full of determination. “I’ve proven that I’m willing to come back again and again. People will realize I’m serious about this.” Busby has raised $300,000 for her campaign and has a plan of action in place. “Brian Bilbray is out!” she insists.
Ultimately, that decision will be left to voters in the upcoming November elections.
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