California Dems endorse three candidates in pivotal House races

California Dems endorse three candidates in pivotal House races

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Three Democratic candidates running in top-tier House races in 2018 landed highly coveted endorsements from the California Democratic Party.

The candidates getting the stamp of approval from the state party are all running in GOP-held seats that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWoman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Trump: CNN, MSNBC 'got scammed' into covering Russian-organized rally Pennsylvania Democrats set to win big with new district map MORE won in 2016. They’re seen as top races for Democrats to win as they look to flip 24 seats to take back the House.

The candidates who scored endorsements are Dave Min, who’s running against Rep. Mimi Walters (R); Hans Keirstead, who’s challenging Rep. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherPoll: Trump unpopularity dragging down two vulnerable California Republicans The Hill's 12:30 Report FBI flagged Moscow-connected Russians attending Trump inauguration: report MORE (R); and Emilio Huerta, who’s looking to unseat Rep. David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoProgressive group targets GOP moderates on immigration Former top Clinton aide files to run for California governor Perfect storm builds against Republicans in California MORE (R).


The endorsements give candidates a big boost of momentum to stand out among their crowded fields ahead of the June 5 primaries. Democrats have seen a surge of candidates interested in running for Congress since President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE took office.

At the state party’s annual convention in San Diego, those three candidates were able to get the 60 percent of votes needed to land the endorsement.

But tensions were high in the Walters district as Min’s opponents sought to block his endorsement. His rivals were able to collect the 300 signatures needed to do so and forced a floor fight that played out at the convention Sunday morning.

Those who supported and opposed Min’s endorsement were given the chance to deliver one-minute speeches. But after a voice vote, state party chairman Eric Bauman said that more delegates supported Min.

A similar effort played out in the Rohrabacher district. Kierstead’s opponents tried to collect the signatures needed, but didn’t meet the 11 p.m. deadline on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, in the other four GOP-held seats that Clinton carried, there will be no state party endorsements since no candidate reached the 60-percent threshold.

Those are the seats held by GOP Reps. Steve Knight, Jeff DenhamJeffrey (Jeff) John DenhamProgressive group targets GOP moderates on immigration House GOP pushes hard-line immigration plan as Senate deals fail Lawmakers scold railroads over delay in safety upgrades MORE, Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceRetiring GOP rep: ‘I think we should look at maybe the length of our chairmanships’ Outgoing GOP rep: Republican Party 'heading into trouble' in election Sunday shows preview: Russian charges, Florida shooting dominate coverage MORE and Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaCalifornia Hispanics, even Republicans, are primed to make history House rejects effort to condemn lawmaker for demanding 'Dreamer' arrests Hispanic Dems seek vote to condemn GOP lawmaker for demanding arrests of 'Dreamers' MORE. Both Royce and Issa opted not to run for reelection in 2018.

Beyond those seven races, Democrats are also targeting several other House seats in California that are considered more of a reach.

In those races, the party endorsed Jessica Morse, who’s running against Rep. Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockSeven of the most politically active celebrities in Trump era House GOP chairman votes against tax bill House passes final tax bill, edging GOP closer to win MORE (R); Andrew Janz, who’s challenging Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesFive key takeaways from the Russian indictments Shepard Smith: New Mueller indictments prove Russia probe is 'opposite of a hoax' Schiff: 'We're very close to reaching an agreement' with FBI on countermemo MORE (R); and Ammar Campa-Najjar, who’s looking to take on Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterDOJ has subpoenaed GOP lawmaker’s parents in improper spending probe: report Repealing antiquated Jones Act would be a boon to all Americans Dems dominate GOP in cash race for key seats MORE (R).