Saturday, March 10, 2012

RPLAC Endorsement Meeting Diary

Yesterday was California's primary filing deadline. Because of Prop. 14, both parties are afraid that if they have too many candidates that the other party will get both in the top two. It's interesting that neither party looks at it the other way and thinks they can get both.
As a result, the Republican Party of LA County (RPLAC) decided to have an endorsement meeting. County parties all over the state will have them some time in the next week. The state party may issue endorsements, but only to candidates who are endorsed by every county covered in the district. Candidates needed a 2/3 vote to get the endorsement.

Despite having a million Republicans and what seems like twice as many districts, there wasn't that many districts to discuss. This was because there was only one Republican in many of the districts.

AD-41, which covers Pasadena and the Foothills, has a definite Democratic lean, but it could be competitive. It's a district we probably won't win, but one that you need to go hard in just in case. There are two Republican candidates, Ed Colton and Donna Lowe. Donna Lowe got the endorsement. I don't know much about her, other than what's on here.

AD-66 is a real battleground district and one that actually contains COI. Meg Whitman squeaked by here. In LA County, that's a Republican district. We have two candidates, tea party activist Nathan Mintz and former CA-36 special election candidate Craig Huey.

Mintz was heavily supported in 2010, but I'm told he's had a falling out with some people in the party. Still, he locked up a lot of endorsements before Huey entered the race. Neither candidate got an endorsement.

Turning to congress:

CA-23, apparently, has a sliver of LA County. The party overwhelmingly endorsed Kevin McCarthy, as he actually has a Republican opponent. The county chair mentioned that Kevin has done fundraisers for RPLAC and wrote checks to the committee. He is one of the good ones.

CA-25 Buck McKeon is running for re-election and has two Republican challengers. Even though the two candidates failed to meet the requirements to be considered for endorsements, Buck was magnanimous to ask that they could speak. Buck did get the endorsement, but the vote was only 58-28. It was a squeaker. I'm guessing some people don't like the idea of party endorsements.

CA-30. This is the Berman-Sherman race. It's about a D+10 district on a statewide level. No Republican will win, but it'd be embarrassing if one doesn't make top two. We were told there are three Republicans, but I only got the names of the two that qualified for endorsements. Mark Reed, who rand against Sherman in 2010, got 2/3. Susan Shelley did not. This one has the potential for disaster if Sherman gets 33, Berman 26, and no Republican gets more than 25.

CA-33. This is a district the commission stuck it to us on, but oddly excluding Torrance. So it's also a D+8-10 district, instead of D+3-5. We only have one candidate, Christopher David. His campaign manager asked me to volunteer. I guess that's what happens if you're there. It's a shame. David will likely win south of the airport with about 53-55% of the vote and then be blown out by Henry Waxman north of the airport 80%-20%. If it moves toward the GOP, it could be competitive if Waxman also retires.

CA-47. Steve Kuykendall is up against Gary DeLong. The district is drawn oddly, with Long Beach attached to communities in Orange County. Republicans should have no shot at a Long Beach district, but we do. I think it'll help that our candidate will be from Long Beach.

I've known Steve a few years, but this was my first opportunity to speak with Gary. He seems like a good guy. He mentioned that even though Democrats have an 11 point registration advantage, it's only 2% amongst the most likely voters.

He mentioned that he liked Steve and thought he'd be a good congressman again, but that Steve's poor fundraising made him a bad candidate. Strangely, he didn't mention that in his pitch.

DeLong got 66% approval, while Kuykendall got 60%. Both missed getting the endorsement narrowly. The party endorsed nobody in this race.

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