The primary season continues on Tuesday June 3rd with Californians going to the polls, although not expected to do so in large numbers. One race of interest is in the southern part of the Golden State, the 52nd congressional district. In one of the few remaining large population centers in the state where Republicans hold hope of winning, their leading candidate is Carl DeMaio and he is openly gay. His story is told by Dana Perino of Fox News. Mr. DeMaio has a compelling back- story of personal success including election to the San Diego City Council.
The interesting dynamic is California’s open primary system giving registered Democrats the opportunity to vote for a Republican such as Mr. DeMaio if they wish. But much of the smear campaign against him has thought to actually come from the left. Much as black Republicans are marginalized because of their conservatism, it seems the same dynamic is at play in the case of Mr. DeMaio, who, if a Democrat, would be attracting a lot of support simply because he is gay. On the other side, will socially conservative Republicans vote for a candidate such as Mr. DeMaio who more closely represents their views on most matters than the Democrat incumbent, Scott Peters or cast their vote for someone else because of that same issue.
As the campaigns entered the last week before election day, Mr. DeMaio’s campaign headquarters was broken into and vandalized. This will be an interesting race to watch when the results of the day’s voting start coming in tomorrow night.
Another interesting candidacy is in the 33rd congressional district in the person of Marianne Williamson, who is a spiritual teacher and author. A political newcomer, she has raised $1.2 million which includes just under $400,000 she has loaned to her campaign. Ms. Williamson is a former Democrat but now, is now running as an independent and is one of 18 names appearing on the June 3rd ballot. The 33rd is a Democratic district but perhaps not as heavily left leaning as in the past due to redistricting. Finishing in the top two gets you to the November general election and Ms. Williamson is considered to be one of the candidates with a good chance to advance. Representative Henry Waxman currently represents the 33rd as one of California’s 38 Democrat’s in the House. Mr. Waxman is retiring having served since 1975.
California, the home of Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, is not very GOP friendly, a trend that has been developing for decades. The GOP does have strongholds in many of the smaller counties but as far as the large population centers the Republican Party just can’t compete. And for statewide contests the occasional win it becoming a true anomaly. Even the traditional Republican stronghold of Orange County has seen the GOP lose ground to the point that its election night results can’t help many Republican candidates into the win column.