An Open Letter to Congressional District 49 Candidates: There are TOO MANY DEMOCRATS in this race.

Democrats for Equality,

Recently we all found out the exciting news that one of the worst congressional representatives in congress, Darrell Issa is retiring. It’s easy for us to look at his retirement and think: Yay! We won!

Don’t do that.

This is horrible news.

By removing the rallying point of the resistance we have now entered an even tougher fight to take back the House and check the horrible Trump agenda.

Let’s first talk about the math: If the 49th Congressional District was a Democratic seat. Let’s say it was 60% Democrat and 40% Republican then a race with 2 Republicans and 4 Democrats is a loss for Democrats. Why?

40 ÷ 2 = 20 whereas 60 ÷ 4 = 15 (LOSE)

That means that if Republicans field too solid candidates that could yield a split in their vote (as Rocky Chavez and Diane Harkey definitely could) and Democrats do the same on their side (definitely likely) that means this could end up a Republican on Republican race that ends up shutting out Democrats.

That’s why it is time for the Democratic candidates in the 49th Congressional District to make a hard choice.

“A few Democrats must put the country or the movement ahead of their own ambition.”

Last month the San Diego Democrats for Equality whittled down the field to two candidates: Sara Jacobs a millenial with an impressive resume for her age and who would be the youngest woman elected to congress and Col. Doug Applegate (USMC Ret) who nearly beat Issa last time, is a retired Marine Corps Colonel and Attorney who has captured the heart of many progressives. We think these two might provide the best opportunity to winning this race and possibly even shutting out the Republicans.

Here is the math:

40 ÷ 2 = 20 whereas 60 ÷ 2 = 30 (WIN)

With Doug Applegate’s name recognition and progressive excitement and Sara Jacobs’ well financed and rapidly growing campaign (she is likely to out raise all of her opponents check the FEC reports at the end of the month) we could have two Democrats who could not only win but SHUT OUT Republicans in the general election. This may very well be the ONLY way to win this race.

Anyone else should probably sit this one out, there will be more races to run.

Now you might think: Well it’s unfair to ask candidates to not run. You’re right. In an ideal situation I would advocate that as many candidates run and a contest of ideas prevail but this is not an ideal situation. Republicans are plotting to shut us out of this race and if that happens we lose a seat. We don’t get progress for DACA dreamers, we don’t advance a progressive agenda, we don’t protect the rights of women, LGBTs and people of color and we don’t get a congress that checks the horrible “s*** hole” administration we have in office right now.

That means for the talented and impressive former Air Force officer Christina Prejean who is thinking about joining race, your entrance would make it nearly mathematically impossible for you or a Democrat to win.

That means the kind and classy navy veteran Paul Kerr, I met with you and your are a good guy, but your participation in this race may make it mathematically impossible for you or a Democrat to win.

That means for Mike Levin, who has secured a host of outside endorsements and some from party leaders but failed to receive even a half dozen votes at the our endorsement meeting and embarrassingly received only 2 votes at the California College Democrats endorsement meeting (after waging a scorched earth, intimidation campaign). Your participation in this race may make it mathematically impossible for you or a Democrat to win.

This isn’t fair. I understand that. I understand that some of these candidates have placed a lot of time, sweat and tears into these campaigns but the reality is that the movement for Justice and Equality is not about any one individual.

Party leadership, and movement leaders should work to help encourage candidates into other races where they can be helpful. Otherwise, we lose.

In Solidarity,

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy
San Diego Democrats for Equality