CHAIRMAN OF CALIF. DEMOCRATIC PARTY RUSTY HICKS VISITS LA MESA

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By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

October 10, 2019 (La Mesa) -- California Democratic party chair Rusty Hicks, newly elected in June, headlined the “Catch the next Blue Wave” function on Oct. 3 at La Mesa Community Center.  The San Diego Democratic Party East hosted the event, held on the same night that Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren held a rally at San Diego’s Waterfront Park. Eighty attended the East County event.

Hicks offered up insights into his goals: “Diversity with committee appointments, address misconduct, financial accountability and transparency.”

Eric Bauman, the former California Democratic leader, resigned in 2018 amid allegations of sexual harassment. Alexandra “Alex” Gallardo-Rooker became acting chair when Bauman resigned in December 2018.

Hicks was elected in a race against Kimberly Ellis.

Democrats flipped Orange County, a former Republican stronghold, from red to blue in 2018, sweeping seven House seats, according to a story by Jorge L. Ortiz for USA Today published Nov. 18, 2018.

California Assembly member Shirley Weber PhD (79th AD), commented on the change.

“It’s moving red to blue; moving slowly west to east,” said Weber, whose district includes portions of San Diego, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, and Chula Vista.

Weber also commented on the highly competitive 50th district, a seat currently held by the legally embattled Duncan Hunter.  Hunter’s corruption trial has been moved to Jan. 22, 2020.

“It’s changing every minute with the 50th district. We’re hoping to transfer the 50th district and have a rep who truly understands the people of the district,” said Weber.

Ammar Campa Najjar, the Democratic candidate in the 50th district, noted the recent increase in his polling numbers.

“I’m excited to be here,” said Campa Najjar. “I’m excited about the polls.”

The poll by SurveyUSA for 10News indicated Campa Najjar is currently in the lead over a pack of all candidates running including four prominent Republicans and two Independents.  He finished just three points behind Hunter in the 2018 race. 

Former East County resident Delfina Gonzalez, who now lives in Chula Vista, is running for Chula Vista city council seat district 4.

Some of the other candidates in attendance included Sara Jacobs and Georgette Gomez, both running for the 53rd Congressional seat (open due to Susan Davis retiring), Kenya Taylor, candidate for county board of supervisors in district 2 (an open seat as Dianne Jacob steps down due to term limits), Rafael Castellanos, candidate for supervisor in district 1 (an open seat currently held by termed-out supervisor Greg Cox), Elizabeth Lavertu, candidate for Assembly district 71, Stephen Whitburn, running for San Diego City Council district 3, and James Elia, El Cajon City Council.

Candidates for office gave brief introductions/comments to the crowd at the end of the evening, which was followed by a presentation by Richard Lederer.

Bob Grand and Judith Walters co-chaired the fundraiser.

Acknowledgments were bestowed on sponsors – blue whale sponsor UDW-United Domestic Workers of America – AFSCME -local 3930, blue dolphin sponsors senate pro tem Toni Atkins, assembly member Dr. Shirley N. Weber, blue fish sponsor – Sara Jacobs, and the fundraising committee comprised of Bob Grand, Judith Walters, Bonnie Price, Suzanne Hansen, Eugene “Gene” Mullaly, Linda Nickerson, and J. Eric Hereford.

The Democratic endorsing convention will be held in Long Beach, November 15-17. The 2019/2020 platform will be finalized, ratifying endorsements for Congressional and legislative races, and will host a 2019 presidential forum.

The primary will be held March 3, 2020.