Roberts drops out of 50th District race to focus on family


Solana Beach Councilman Dave Roberts has dropped out of the race for the 50th Congressional District, leaving the competition between the remaining candidates a little tighter today.

On his Web site, Roberts said he was withdrawing so he and his partner, Wally Oliver, can focus on adopting their youngest son’s half-brother and half- sister, both of whom recently became eligible for adoption. The couple previously adopted two boys from foster care.

“Keeping families together is an important value to us and we consider it important that we rescue these two children from their prior environment into one that offers love, a chance for a good education and healthy lifestyle,” Roberts said in a letter to his supporters. “With our young children so new to our family, my campaign absences are unfair to them and Wally.”

Roberts announced his candidacy in September. He was one of three Democrats hoping to unseat Republican incumbent Rep. Brian Bilbray. The remaining Democratic candidates are Escondido lawyer Tracey Emblem and former Cardiff School District board member Francine Busby.

Emblem and Busby will run against each other in June for the Democratic nomination. The top vote-getter will run against Bilbray next November.

In the three-month reporting period that ended Oct. 1, Bilbray raised $110,000, Emblem raised $30,000 and Busby raised $60,000. Roberts raised $152,000, of which $50,000 was a loan he made to himself.

The 50th Congressional District includes Escondido, San Marcos, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and sections of Pacific Beach, La Jolla and University City.