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Janz Wins State Dems Endorsement in Nunes Battle

For the second time, Andrew Janz is the Democrats’ choice for Congress.

The Fresno County Deputy District Attorney initially won his party’s recommendation during the pre-endorsement conference in January. Others objected to that result, forcing the final decision at this past weekend’s party convention in San Diego.

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David Taub

The Los Angeles Times reports that Janz again won the endorsement with 68% of the vote. He beat out the likes of healthcare executive Bobby Bliatout and businessman Ricardo Franco.

The incumbent is Republican Devin Nunes of Tulare, first winning office in 2002. The top two vote-getters in the June 5 primary advance to the general election. Nunes and Janz are the frontrunners.

Dems Non-Committal for Big State Races

The big news out of the convention was that the party failed to endorse candidates for the biggest races. For U.S. Senate, state Sen. Kevin de Leon outpolled incumbent Dianne Feinstein 54%-37%. However, a 60% threshold is needed for the party’s approval.

Democrats attending last weekend’s state convention preferred state Sen. Kevin de León over incumbent Dianne Feinstein (above) for U.S. Senate.  De León, however, fell short of the 60% vote margin needed for the party’s endorsement.

For governor, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom won a plurality, with 39%, followed by state Treasurer John Chiang (30%), former state Superintendent Delaine Eastin (20%) and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (9%).

Are the convention-attending Democrats in touch with state voters? In a February poll, Newsom led Villaraigosa 23%-21%. And, Feinstein had a dominant lead over de León, 46%-17%.

For lieutenant governor, state senator Ed Hernandez edged former ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, 42%-41%. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones emerged as the favorite for attorney general, commanding 56% of the delegates over incumbent Xavier Becerra (42%). But, since neither of those candidates earned 60%, it was just for bragging rights.

What Becerra Didn’t Say While Defending Unions

Today (Feb. 26), the U.S. Supreme Court hears a case about whether public employees who opt out of joining a union should still have to pay partial dues (for collective bargaining). California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed an amicus brief in the case and also wrote an op-ed that appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune defending unions in the pending Janus vs. AFSCME case.

What’s not in the op-ed is that Becerra received $14,600 in contributions from AFSCME in campaign contributions.

Governor’s Race Loses a GOP Candidate

The GOP field for California governor lost former congressman Doug Ose, The Sacramento Bee reported Monday. Ose cited an inability to fundraise as his reason for dropping out.

Supporters are organizing to speak on behalf of Central Unified Superintendent Mark Sutton at Tuesday’s (Feb. 27) school board meeting.


Central Unified Superintendent Mark Sutton

The trustees will discuss Sutton in closed session. That will be preceded by 20 minutes of public comments at 6 p.m. A decision on Sutton, if any, would be announced when the meeting returns to open session around 7 p.m.

At the Feb. 13 meeting, parents defended Sutton and complained to the board that not only has his contract not been extended, but it has not even been publicly discussed. Sutton’s employment with the district runs through June 30.

An attempt to recall two board members, Phillip Cervantes and Richard Solis, failed on technical grounds, according to the Fresno County elections office. However, such an effort can be attempted again.

The meeting takes place Tuesday at the Central High School east campus in the Wayne “Hondo” Hodge Performing Arts Center (3535 North Cornelia Ave., Fresno).

A notice for Sutton supporters about the Central Unified school board meeting.

Blackout Period for Campaign Contributions Ending?

Candidates for Fresno city elected office may raise funds at any time if the city council approves a proposal.

The council will hear a plan from City Attorney Douglas Sloan to eliminate the time restrictions candidates can solicit campaign contributions. Dollar limits would still apply.

This stems from a case in Austin, Texas, that is making its way through the federal court system. There, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit let stand a lower court ruling, that imposing blackout periods of when a candidate can raise funds is a First Amendment violation.

GV Wire’s Drew Phelps contributed to this story.

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