California’s elected officials and political candidates are trying to figure out how to campaign in the new Open Primary Election that is set for June 5. Here in Orange County, one of our longtime U.S. Representatives, Loretta Sanchez, apparently decided to skip the primary election altogether.
You won’t find any Sanchez signs and I have seen no mailers and have not received any phone calls from her campaign. But her opponents are all running hard.
The OC GOP got behind an unknown white candidate, Jerry Hayden. Good luck with that. His signs are everywhere but he faces an uphilll battle in a distinctly Latino congressional district. Fellow Republican John Cullum has signs up all over the district too.
Independent candidate Jorge Rocha is running a big campaign, with precinct walking and large banner-style signs. Rocha tells me he already has over 5,000 voters committed to supporting him.
Sanchez had no money to work with in the Open Primary, as her campaign treasurer, Kinde Durkee, stole her money and the feds have been unable to track down the missing donations. Durkee did a huge favor to Sanchez’ opponents.
Sanchez will be on the ballot – but how much has she damaged herself by not running at all in the Open Primary? We will find out but not until the fall, when she will finally start running, for the November General Election.
Ironically Sanchez got to Congress when the previous incumbent, Bob Dornan, fell asleep at the wheel. Dornan wasted his time on a failed Presidential campaign and he paid the price for it as the demographics shifted in his district, in favor of Latinos.
Sanchez may have erred as voters in the 46th Congressional District will be able to vote for any of the candidates running against her. If they do so in the Opern Primary they just might do that again in November.
I don’t think Sanchez can get reelected without cultivating support from decline to state voters and other independent voters. But she did not reach out to them in the Open Primary. I know that Rocha did.
Sanchez is going to have to run in November from a standstill position – and she will be stuck with the worst U.S. President in recent history on top of her party’s ticket. It could be her toughest campaign since her first one. Is she up to that after getting married to a wealthy defense lobbyist? I guess we’ll find out if she still has a “fire in the belly” for tough elections…