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 ClintonAttorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports Paul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book 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 RohrabacherNow someone wants to slap a SPACE Tax on Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, et al 'Blue wave' Democrats eye comebacks after losing reelection Former Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building MORE (R); and Emilio Huerta, who’s looking to unseat Rep. David ValadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoMcCarthy-allied fundraising group helps Republicans who voted to impeach Trump Pro-impeachment Republicans outpace GOP rivals in second-quarter fundraising Cheney, Kinzinger are sole GOP votes for Jan. 6 select committee 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 TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race 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 DenhamBottom line Bottom line Business groups breathe sigh of relief over prospect of divided government MORE, Ed RoyceEdward (Ed) Randall RoyceBottom line Bottom line California was key factor in House GOP's 2020 success MORE and Darrell IssaDarrell Edward IssaHow lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation Dozens of Sacramento students remain in Afghanistan after US pullout, district says Seven San Diego-area families evacuated from Afghanistan after summer trip abroad 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 McClintockThe right fire to fight fire — why limiting prescribed burning is short-sighted Hillicon Valley: House advances six bills targeting Big Tech after overnight slugfest | Google to delay cookie phase out until 2023 | Appeals court rules against Baltimore Police Department aerial surveillance program California Democrats clash over tech antitrust fight MORE (R); Andrew Janz, who’s challenging Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesLIVE COVERAGE: Ways and Means begins Day 2 on .5T package Biden faces unfinished mission of evacuating Americans Nunes sues MSNBC, alleging Rachel Maddow defamed him MORE (R); and Ammar Campa-Najjar, who’s looking to take on Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan HunterTrump denies Gaetz asked him for blanket pardon Gaetz, on the ropes, finds few friends in GOP Trust, transparency, and tithing is not enough to sustain democracy MORE (R).