Solana Beach Councilman Roberts plans to run against Bilbray


Solana Beach Councilman Dave Roberts said in remarks published Thursday that he will run for the 50th Congressional District seat now occupied by Republican Brian Bilbray.

Roberts plans to run against former Cardiff School District board member Francine Busby and Escondido criminal appellate attorney Tracy Emblem in the Democratic primary in June 2010, with hopes of unseating Bilbray five months later in the general election.

“I’m running for Congress because I think citizens across the district are looking for a new leader, a new face, someone with fresh ideas,” Roberts, 48, told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Roberts plans to formally announce his candidacy later Thursday, the newspaper reported.

If successful, Roberts would represent Escondido, San Marcos, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad and sections of Pacific Beach, La Jolla and University City.

Both Busby, 58, and Emblem, 54, told the Union-Tribune they doubt Roberts’ party loyalty.

Roberts, who lives with his partner and three sons, switched his voter registration this year from nonpartisan to Democrat, according to the newspaper.

“I’m surprised that he’s running as a Democrat,” Busby said. “It didn’t occur to me to ask for his endorsement because he’s been contributing to and endorsing Bilbray.”

Emblem told the Union-Tribune she’s “happy to have another Republican in the race,” referring to Roberts.

In addition to serving on the Solana Beach City Council, Roberts is vice president of government relations for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.