Here's the LA Times article, and here's the complete vote count. Two 40-something Democrats will face off in the second round on 6 June. The two top vote-getters combined—Jimmy Gomez and Robert Lee Ahn—did not receive 50% of the total votes cast in this light-turnout special election.
This morning I am kicking myself (gently) because I had not taken much interest in this race, having just assumed that maybe a handful of Democrats had lined up for it, only to find out in the afterglow that there were twenty. Yesterday I mentioned that CA-34 was a heavily Democratic district, but wow.
Apart from the lone Green Party candidate Kenneth Mejia, the Republicans and Libertarians each put forth one candidate. There was one independent candidate, Mark Padilla, labeled NPP for No Party Preference.
Also, I had not known about the peculiar case of Sanders 2016 campaign operative Arturo Carmona, who finished fifth. The LA Times mentions the allegations of sexual harassment that dogged Carmona in the race. This item, published Monday, was literally the first I'd heard of this case. Then I found this letter, published last Saturday, signed by 43 fellow Sanders supporters, including some whose names you might recognize. Seriously, read all the signatures. While it's a dirty business, it is heartening to know that Progressives will call out other Progressives who behave in an unprogressive manner.
Now that the race is over, I can say candidly that I have not been super-impressed with Mejia in the video interviews I have watched. He still needs to polish up his speaking style; he reminds me of a hyper-earnest candidate for president of his university's Student Association. It would behoove him to emulate his fellow Sanders fan and young Iraq veteran Tulsi Gabbard, who's rhetorical skills are by no means perfect, but who is smoother than the average Congresscritter.
But Mejia's speechifying will improve with practice, and I hope he keeps up the political pursuits as a Green. When he's on, he's really on, as this campaign video amply illustrates. He has demonstrated knowledge of the important issues and the standard Green positions thereupon. I also hope that Mejia has inspired other young adults to run for office or join a campaign, much as not-so-young Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein inspired him. In every state, the Green Party needs youth and energy, not just in its candidates, but in its campaign workers and volunteers.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
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