Congratulations to Fran Sdao on being elected the new chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County and thank you to Henry Vandermeir for leading the Party to a better place today than when he took over four years ago.
There was lot of talk from the dais at the Teamster’s Hall in Orange about party unity and lots of private conversations about making it a priority in the months ahead. Democrats in Orange County are going to need to find ways to build bridges of the issues that divided us in the last election cycle from primaries through the general election and focus instead on Trump and the Republicans.
Now is the time for candidates to start thinking about 2018. It does Democrats no good to have four solid candidates for two open seats and party leaders and candidates need to sit down and sort out which candidates offer the best options for raising money, building teams and getting elected.
It’s also time to stop playing footsie with Republicans.
There’s selective criticism over some endorsed Democratic candidates accepting an endorsement from a Republican while others get to skate. As a party, we need to more consistent on this issue. A rule change I’d like to see is “if you are an endorsed DPOC candidate and accept an endorsement from an elected Republican for your race, your party endorsement is terminated.” There’s already a rule in place that Central Committee members can’t endorse Republicans; this is simply dropping the other shoe.
I’m optimistic this year’s Central Committee and leadership can show more party unity because there was only two contentious races for election — Party secretary won by Anita Narayana (and that is a thankless job) and North County Vice Chair won by Jeff Letourneau, a frequent source of party disunity under Vandermeir. Sdao tells me she’s had a number of conversations with leaders within the party for the need to come together. I certainly hope she’s successful at it.