Some of the reading about Saturday’s events at the pre-endorsement meetings was downright funny, especially if the candidate you supported didn’t do well. With the exception of CD-39, where no candidate got to 50 percent, those candidates seeking the California Democratic Party endorsement can do so in San Diego.
I attended the Region 18 event. Every candidate had lots of volunteers out there and candidates were working over the delegates pretty well, especially if they knew you hadn’t cast a ballot early. As for rumors of dirty tactics, its kind of hard to do that in a room full of people; private conversations were next to impossible.
Some ballots were not counted for a simple reason — the delegate forgot to sign it. Every ballot was read aloud to the audience so everyone knows which delegate voted for which candidate. Some general themes from that meeting:
In CD-45, David Min got 66 percent of the vote. Katie Porter, 14%. Brian Forde (who earned my vote) got 8%, Kia Hamadanchy got 5%. But everyone can seek the endorsement at the CDP Convention in San Diego. Min has been at this the longest and is probably the reason why he got so much support. Porter really only ramped up her campaign since the first part of the year. Forde has raised a lot of money so far and earned my vote (which I struggled with because we have great candidates in CD-45) due to his tech background and how he wanted to translate that into OC’s economic growth — otherwise know has good jobs at good wages. But the rumors you may have heard about alleged underhanded tactics by Min and Porter are frankly just that – rumors fuled by supporters and not by the candidates. I’ve had extensive chats with Min, Porter and Forde — they’d rather talk about themselves and why they are best positioned to beat Mimi Walters. Few people believe that Republican Greg Raths will make a dent in Mimi’s armor in CD-45.
In CD-48, Dr. Hans Kierstead scored a surprising win at 68% — the highest recorded for the Congressional races. Rivals Harley Rouda came in at 24% and Laura Oatman at 7%. “Reagan Democrat” and CD-39 resident Omar Siddiqui got one vote. All are eligible to seek the CDP endorsement in San Diego. Rachel Payne worked the room well and suffers from getting in the race late and didn’t get a vote, and it’s unclear if she too is eligible.
In CD-49, Mike Levin got 60% of the vote to Colonel Doug Applegate’s 35% and Sarah Jacobs scored 5%. Applegate had the area plastered with signs and the most volunteers of any candidate. I support Levin in this race, but with so many delegates in the room (many who didn’t know I support Levin), I was remarking on the sheer number of Applegate volunteers and asked delegates about why the Colonel wasn’t doing better. The South County based delegates were still feeling ignored by Applegate in 2016 — his focus was Pendleton/Oceanside — and he won big there but lost the race by not working hard enough in South OC. One group of delegates reminded me that while there is a military bloc of voters in CD-49, its not as strong as you think. Jacobs tells us she has raised more than the other candidates for the last quarter bringing in $1.3 million. It’s unclear how much of this comes from Jacobs family contributions as her grandfather founded chip giant Qualcomm. She’s a promising candidate but not for Congress not now.
In CD-39, Jay Chen’s late entry into the race earned him top billing but under 50%. So he and his fellow Democrats won’t make it to the consent calendar for CDP endorsements next month. Phil Janowicz almost got 30%. Sam Jammel got close to 8%. With Republicans offering strong choices of Young Kim, Shawn Nelson and Bob Huff, Chen’s entry into the race makes it more likely that the top two spots here will be red. Chen has had a surge but not nearly enough to pull away from the field. I’d recommend the DPOC or the candidates themselves settle on a reputation polling firm to do a comprehensive poll to see which Democratic candidates are the most viable against any Republican in CD-39 (hell, do this in 45, 48 and 49 too). Top two finishers stay; others find another race to run.