In the 1980s, the 44th District was one of four that divided San Diego. It covered some of the northern and eastern parts of San Diego County. The district had been held for eight years by DemocratJim Bates and was considered the most Democratic district in the San Diego area. However, Bates was bogged down in a scandal involving charges of sexual harassment. Randy "Duke" Cunningham won the Republican nomination and hammered Bates about the scandal. He won by just a point, meaning that the San Diego area was represented entirely by Republicans for only the second time since the city was split into three districts after the 1960 U.S. Census.