Area Democrats turned out in force Saturday afternoon to welcome U.S. Senate hopeful Kevin de Leon, who is challenging longtime incumbent Dianne Feinstein. De Leon, the former State Senate President pro tempore, in turn endorsed several local candidates.
They included Alan Geraci, running for the State Assembly’s 75th District against Marie Waldron; Ammar Campa, candidate for the 50th Congressional District; and Jeff Griffith, an Escondido resident and Cal Fire captain and member of the Palomar Health District board running for State Senate 38th district being vacated by Joel Anderson due to term limits.
The rally was held at the Democratic headquarters located at 105 E. Grand Avenue & Broadway, Escondido.
The day speeches and celebration culminated a morning canvassing effort to up awareness over the June primary that is rapidly approaching.
Campa, who is running in the 50th District, led off the speeches. “We’re here to do a repeal and replace Duncan Hunter. Are you ready to go? Hunter is the other one who is ready to go!” Campa called Hunter “one of the chief enablers of Donald Trump, one of the first to endorse him. After five decades, half a century of one family controlling this district it’s time for new leadership.”
He declared, “We are at a crossroads in this country. We are in a ‘where were you?’ moment. Your kids and grandkids are going to ask you where you were when people were fighting for their lives and their healthcare. Where were you? Where were you when people were fighting for their constitutional rights.”
Campa noted that ballots will be mailed out in May 7 and the primary election will be held on June 7. He warned, “In this district it could very well be two Republicans running.” He was referring to California’s “jungle primary” that mandates that the two top vote-getters, from whichever party, will face each other in the General Election. “We can’t let that happen.”
He asked rhetorically if California could have 100 percent renewable energy, immigration reform, and “can we fight to make sure that the working class isn’t left behind. Together we can. Can we elect an Arab Latino to congress and give Donald Trump a heart attack? Together we can!”
Campa introduced de Leon, who declared, “I’ve been up and down the state of California. I have never seen a campaign office like this. It is the Rolls Royce of campaign offices.”
De Leon told the group, “These are very tumultuous times in our nation’s history. At the risk of sounding too out there, these are in fact very dangerous times for our nation. For those folks who remember the sixties or seventies, those who lived it or read it: It makes Richard Nixon look like a choir boy in comparison.”
He continued, “That’s why the election is so critical for this nation’s history, so critical for the state of California. That’s why it is so vital that we as a great state, the Golden State remain as America’s exceptional example. We collectively will not allow one electoral aberration to reverse decades of progress at the height of our historical diversity. With our scientific advancement, our economic output and our sense of global responsibility. Not in a great state like California.”
De Leon continued, “We appreciate who we are. We are proud of who we are and where we come from. A few generations removed from Scotland or Ireland or Wales or Germany or Canada, Chinese or Korean or you had the audacity to leave Palestine and cross this amazing ocean and come to California and to marry a Mexican woman and to have a son in California.
“Or whether you are an actual immigrant from the East Coast and New York. We appreciate who we are, and we love who we are because we are and where we come from. We celebrate our diversity. We don’t ban it. We don’t deport it and we sure as hell don’t wall it up. Not in the great state of California.”
He continued, “We demand freedom. Freedom from fossil fuel dependency. One hundred percent clean energy because our children deserve the right free air into the lungs and to drink clean water. And every day Americans deserve to have a job, a high wage-earning job.”
De Leon said that in California, “We have ten times more jobs in green energy sectors in California alone than there are coal mining jobs in all of America.”
Turning to health care, he said, “No one who works all her life should be forced to die in poverty. No one who works full time in the wealthiest state in the wealthiest country in the world deserves to die in poverty. That’s why we have to have to Medicare for all, a universal health care system. That’s why these elections are consequential.”
He praised Campa: “This is a young man who was born in East San Diego county, and raised in Jamul, who worked in the White House to work for you every single day for the issues that matter. . .”
He added, “In Ammar we have that voice of reason and change. The nepotism that is so blatantly obvious about giving a seat to another individual from the same family is glaring.” Regarding Alan Geraci, “who I had the opportunity to meet last year; it’s clear to me that his values are strong values, Democratic values, and I want to announce for Alan to be your next representative in the state capital.”
De Leon, who was the author of Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act, defended the law, which has come under attack by the U.S. Justice Department, and which has been derided by critics as the “Sanctuary State” law. “Senate Bill 54 IS constitutional and it’s the law of the land of California. It’s very clear we have a White House and a GOP who are utilizing the so-called sanctuary state bill to drive up turn out. I’m not shocked or surprised, but it’s still sad because we thought the Republicans learned their lesson twenty-two years ago with Pete Wilson and Prop. 187. I always tell my GOP friends, “You may score a Pyrrhic victory that will come at a very high cost but at the end of the day you end up losing big time.
“Look at what happened to Republicans in California, where we used to have constitutional officers who were Republicans. That’s no longer the case. They are trying to invoke the ghost of Prop. 187 back and it’s gutless and heartless. How mean spirited to put race into this equation!”