Capitol Alert

Democrat Ed Hernandez lays off Donald Trump in ‘lite gov’ campaign

Democrat Ed Hernandez is trying to clear the field in next year’s lieutenant governor’s race, a statewide position that’s sometimes referred to as “lite governor” to reflect its lack of built-in responsibilities.

In a new, 1-plus minute online video, the state senator and working optometrist from Azusa tells his family’s immigrant story over images of the Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley, Hollywood sign and Southern California beaches.

Besides its early debut, the video is perhaps most notable for what it doesn’t mention: President Donald Trump.

Unlike most of his legislative colleagues, and the candidates for governor, Hernandez deliberately steers the focus away from clashes between Democratic-dominated California and Republican-controlled Washington.

Are there limitations to how much voters want to hear about the seemingly all-consuming state-versus-federal showdown?

Hernandez’s strategist, Dave Jacobson, explained his strategy: “With so much doom and gloom stemming from the Trump presidency, California needs a hopeful, inspiring and optimistic vision for the future.”

Jacobson said there’s no question Hernandez, who as a senator has focused on expanding access to affordable health care, will fight Trump’s agenda “with every bone in his body.”

“But,” Jacobson added, “he also understands that if we become singularly consumed by Trump, then Trump wins.”

And that won’t help Democrats in 2018.

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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