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Election 2020: Congressional hopeful Jim DeBello on the issues

Jim DeBello

Republican Jim DeBello, running in California’s 52nd Congressional District, says he’s most focused on public safety and economic recovery.

DeBello, a native San Diegan, is married 33 years with a daughter. His grandparents emigrated from Europe and his parents served in WWII.

A tech entrepreneur, he co-invented mobile check deposit, holds several patents and served as CEO of Mitek Systems.

He calls the San Diego region “the gateway to Asia and to Latin America.” He studied at Harvard, enjoys sailing, worked on an Olympic committee, and appeared in the movie, “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!”

Public Safety

“Anarchy and mob violence and looting on the streets … are not tenable. It upsets me to see … the lack of respect for private property and for law and order,” he told The Coast News. 

While policing largely falls to local governments, the feds’ role includes “leadership,” he said. “We need … a stronger endorsement for public safety” to allay concerns about legal disregard and to “rebuild that trust and support, just like we did with the military after Vietnam.”

Economic Recovery

“Flattening the curve was a good move,” he said. “However, it’s time to open up our economy, safely, open up our schools, as [is] being done safely, and cope with COVID in the hopes that there’s a vaccine very soon.”


“Individual responsibility” is “the hallmark of our country,” he said. There is a need for strong government,” but not “expansive” government, “unreasonable regulation” and “diktats by executive order.”

“As you get bigger and bigger, I think the tendency is to get within a cocoon … and not hear the voices of the people, because you’re hearing the voices of the party,” he said.


“Abortion should be very, very rare, and only legal in the cases of rape or incest, or health issues with the mother or the child,” he said. “I would prefer to see a legislative agenda that fosters adoption and supports these kids. We have to think about it as life.”

Though the government shouldn’t make “a unilateral decision for a woman in a complicated pregnancy. That should be left up to the woman, her doctor and her relationship with her God.”


“Climate Change is our ultimate environmental challenge,” DeBello’s web site says. But “we need to be more methodical,” focused on “technology innovation,” avoiding “hysteria” about overstated risks, he told The Coast News. He recommends the book “Apocalypse Never,” whose author says it describes a “positive, humanistic, and rational environmentalism.”

“Republicans are looking to practical solutions to address climate change and to evolve our footprint away from fossil fuels, … plastics, and … other [damaging] forms of energy and production,” he said. “We look at the Green New Deal as impractical.”


“[Immigration] refreshes us with regard to creativity to culture, to labor, and to advancements even in technology,” DeBello said. “I’m for legal immigration. I respect people who want to come to this country to contribute, and also are fleeing issues in their own country.” But “no democratic nation in the world has open borders.”

He supports expanding the H-1B visa program, which helps employers hire specialized workers, and using technology to speed immigration processes and secure borders.