What Will The Republican Right Do?
The June run-off will be a side show in the state's primary election. The winner of the run-off will complete the six months remaining in Cunningham's term, while campaigning for re-election in November. As Jenkins point out, it is possible the Bilbray could beat Busby in June in the run-off while losing the Republican primary to a single conservative candidate. What would happen then?
Bilbray defeats Busby in June runoff – replacing Cunningham for the '04 term – but he loses the June GOP primary to another Republican. Kaloogian or Roach or Alan Uke or whoever.
In this case, we'd be looking at a November general election in which the incumbent, Bilbray, could win re-election only as a write-in, a surreal replay of the historic 1982 election in which Republican Ron Packard won as a write-in candidate against Republican nominee Johnnie Crean.
The perpetual campaign in CA-50 rolls on.