SAN DIEGO — Julio Perez won a major endorsement from California Young Democrats Saturday evening at their meeting during the California Democratic Party Convention in San Diego. The endorsement from CYD adds significant support to the endorsement he received from the Orange County Young Democrats in January. Jose Vargas, Chair of Orange County Democrats told me; “The Young Democrats will prioritize the devotion of all available resources to support their endorsed candidates.”
Perez also initially won the endorsement of the California Democratic Party in the 69th Assembly District Caucus on Saturday. Perez garnered 15 votes, Michele Martinez 3 votes, Tom Daly 1 vote, and 6 delegates voted for no endorsement. Just as she did at the pre-endorsement caucus in January, Michele Martinez challenged the credentials of a delegate who voted to support Perez. After the vote was announced, Martinez challenged the vote of delegate Carl Weible. He had assigned his vote to a proxy who had voted for Perez. She claimed that Weible had moved to Los Angeles county and was no longer a qualified delegate. She knew this because she had a Facebook message from Weible in January telling her that he had moved. Her campaign also tried to revive their failed challenge of another delegate whose eligibility had already been ruled upon by the party.
Party officials investigated and determined that indeed two Carl Weible’s are registered to vote in Southern California, one in LA and one in Orange County. With that information the officials ruled late Saturday night that Weible was not a qualified delegate and therefore could not assign his vote to a proxy.
I tried to ask Martinez’s campaign manager Lupe De la Cruz why he and Martinez waited until all the votes were counted and the results announced to challenge the credentials of a delegate. But in a scene reminiscent of former Assemblyman Mike Duvall running away from reporters in the state capitol, he walked briskly from the room, with me asking questions in pursuit, refusing to answer any questions. This behavior was strange because of Martinez’s statement to the caucus that she is always willing to talk to anyone. Apparently that pledge dosesn’t extend to credentialed media.
The decision left Perez with only 58% of the vote, thus he had not achieved the necessary 60% to receive the party endorsement. The caucus results showed several delegates, who had voted in the pre-endorsement caucus for no endorsement, flipped over to support the endorsement of Perez. Perez maintained his support from Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez who voted to endorse Perez in both caucus votes. Her support should prove far more critical than the party endorsement to high propensity democratic voters in the district.
Julio Perez spoke with me briefly after the initial vote results of the caucus were announced.
I’m very honored to have the support I’ve received tonight. The results represent a major shift for the district,” Perez said. “I hope to unify everyone under one umbrella in support of my campaign for the rights of the 99% over the 1%.