Monday, August 15, 2005

Minuteman Might Conquer CA-48 For Democrats


He's Watching You

Minuteman Project founder, Jim Gilchrist's moment of truth is coming in the next few days. By the end of the business day tomorrow, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is obligated to call for a special election to fill Congressman Chris Cox seat in the 48th District in California. Cox was confirmed by the Senate to the top post at the Securities and Exchange Commission, leaving his seat in the conservative Orange County district open.

The special election process has two pieces. There will be an October primary and, if no candidate receives 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will face each other in a general election. This format offers Democrats a rare opportunity in a heavily Republican district. It also offers a single issue outsider like Gilchrist a real opportunity to side-step the political party process and go directly to the public with a controversial issue.

Gilchrist, a registered American Independent, could very well be the spoiler in this race. Gilchrist is working with Alan Keyes former campaign manager to determine his drawing power and potential strategy in this special election race. Gilchrist's allies in the Minuteman movement are strongly supportive of his entry into the race. As the right wing World Net Daily beats the drum:

"Chris Simcox, founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, has authored an e-mail to supporters urging them to financially support Gilchrist's likely run.

"Jim is seriously considering running for this seat. And, if he wins, he'll take the fight to protect our borders straight to the President with real border security legislation!" states Simcox. "California's 48th Congressional District sits squarely in Republican Orange County with over 50 percent registered Republicans!"

Stresses Simcox: "If ever there were a time to support a fellow Minuteman, it is now!"

Three Republicans are considered to be in the race for the 48th District seat: State Senator John Campbell, former state Assemblywoman Marilyn Brewer and new comer, Edward Suppe. Campbell was the odds-on favorite, but if Gilchrist enters the race, he and Campbell are going to be in a fight on the right, leaving Brewer some room in the middle. Suppe is a businessman with no background in politics.

This is a solidly Republican district where Republicans enjoy an almost 2:1 registration advantage over Democrats. This should be a secure Republican seat, but Gilchrist could change the equation. With at least three Republican in the race along with Gilchrist splitting up the Republican and wingnut vote, it is possible that Gilchrist could be one of the two candidates to come out of the "primary" and move on to the "general" election.

It is imperative that Democrats find a single viable candidate to run in this district. So far there are three announced Democratic hopefuls. If this election were part of the normal two year cycle, the DCCC would probable not even care which one of them became cannon fodder in the District.

The DCCC needs to not only care who runs, but they need to make sure that the right Democrat runs. If a Democrat survives the "primary", they have a real chance in the "general" election.

The Democratic Party isn't going to get an opportunity like this again for a long time.

Please check out CA-48 for more details and up-to-the-minute blogging. We could "turn Orange County blue."

(photo OC Register)