The primary election to replace Juanita Millender-McDonald is next Tuesday, June 26. Both main campaigns, State Sen. Jenny Oropeza and Assemblywoman Laura Richardson, have released internal polls showing them in the lead; however, both polls are tight enough to make this a very close race. Oropeza has about twice as much money for the final days.
A crowd of nearly 100 people heard State Senator Jenny Oropeza (D., Carson-LB), a polished public speaker with 19 years of elective experience, become audibly emotional, her voice at one point seemingly approaching tears, while retaining her composure to complete her closing statement in emphatic tones. To hear this, click here.
The Senator's reaction came after fellow Democrat candidate George Parmer, Jr. ("I'm a truck driver, a working man, not a politician") said that at a candidate forum a day earlier, someone [not a candidate] suggested that he and other less well funded candidates should drop out of the race in favor of a candidate who could win. Mr. Parmer interpreted this to mean defeating a Hispanic candidate [Sen. Oropeza] to benefit a Black candidate...which he likened to returning to the "road to segregation." To hear his statement, click here.
Following Mr. Parmer and Senator Oropeza, Assemblywoman Laura Richardson (D., Carson-LB) delivered her closing statement, reiterating her stance that the Congressional seat held by the late Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald (D., Carson-LB) should be held by someone from "our community." Assemblywoman Richardson indicated the phrase means someone with a working class background reflective of the district, along with the legislative experience to do the job. "I'm not speaking about race. I'm talking about respect," Assemblywoman Richardson said. To hear this, click here.
I don't know what the outcome will be, but progressive politics suffer when campaigns become a race about "respect" and identity and street cred. And I sense this is all coming from one particular candidate.