Moderate GOP hopefuls
dodge party convention
Major California Republican congressional challengers steered clear of the state party convention last weekend, but the event’s activism helped bring definition to some of the state’s most contested House races.
Republicans Doug Ose of Sacramento, Brian Nestande of Palm Desert, Jeff Gorell of Camarillo and Carl DeMaio of San Diego stuck to the trail rather than rubbing elbows with the delegates gathering in Burlingame.
Their absence underscored a dynamic taking place through the races: The four contenders each have more conservative challengers running to their right – in addition to the freshmen Democrats they hope to unseat in November.
Ose, the moderate former congressman, has focused much of his public attention on Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove. Yet the 7th District primary also features a pair of conservative GOP candidates – Elizabeth Emken and Igor Birman. Both attended the convention.
“This is far from the district, but it’s important to inspire activists and volunteers to assist in what is shaping up to be one of the most contested races in the state,” Birman said Saturday.
– Christopher Cadelago
“It’s just been very exciting trying to manage this excitement.”
Tim Clark, Sacramento-based Republican consultant, noting that Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s nascent campaign for state controller is receiving offers of help from donors and activists.