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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 Clinton 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 Rohrabacher (R); and Emilio Huerta, who’s looking to unseat Rep. David Valadao (R).

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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 Trump 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 Denham, Ed Royce and Darrell Issa. 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 McClintock (R); Andrew Janz, who’s challenging Rep. Devin Nunes (R); and Ammar Campa-Najjar, who’s looking to take on Rep. Duncan Hunter (R). 

Tags 2022 midterm elections California California Democratic Party Dana Rohrabacher Darrell Issa David Valadao Devin Nunes Donald Trump Duncan Hunter Ed Royce endorsements Hillary Clinton Jeff Denham Tom McClintock
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