Queer Marine veteran launches House bid after incumbent California Rep. Susan Davis announces retirement

Queer Marine veteran launches House bid after incumbent California Rep. Susan Davis announces retirement
© Janessa Goldbeck/Facebook

A Marines veteran who identifies as queer on Wednesday became the latest Democrat to launch a bid for a California House seat after incumbent Rep. Susan DavisSusan Carol DavisOvernight Defense: Congress recommends nuclear arms treaty be extended | Dems warn Turkey | Military's eighth COVID death identified Bipartisan congressional task force recommends extending nuclear treaty with Russia The Hill's Campaign Report: Minneapolis protests rock the nation MORE (D-Calif.) announced earlier this month that she would not seek reelection.

Janessa Goldbeck, 34, launched her House campaign for California’s 53rd Congressional District in a tweet Wednesday afternoon, saying, “I believe that even the toughest challenges can be overcome with grit, imagination, and a willingness to work together. That’s why today I am announcing my campaign for Congress, right here in my hometown, San Diego.”

Goldbeck, a California native, also filed her official statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday. She is one of several candidates competing in the Democratic primary.

Goldbeck, who spent nearly seven years in the Marines and left her position as a captain nearly two months ago, is a first-time candidate and is running as a pro-Second Amendment Democrat, BuzzFeed News reports. She also worked as a human rights activist pushing for Congress to end the genocide in Darfur following her graduation from Northwestern University.


She plans to focus on topics including affordable housing, the wage gap and infrastructure, and though she supports the Second Amendment, she will reportedly push for gun background checks and keeping some military-grade weapons out of the hands of average U.S. citizens.

“If you want to fire a military-grade weapon, join the Marines,” Goldbeck told BuzzFeed News. “We’re always looking for a few good people.”

The state’s 53rd District is a safely Democratic one that Davis won by nearly 40 points in 2018. It also backed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton: Allegations against Cuomo 'raise serious questions,' deserve probe Clinton, Pelosi holding online Women's Day fundraiser with Chrissy Teigen, Amanda Gorman Media circles wagons for conspiracy theorist Neera Tanden MORE by about 35 points in 2016. 

Goldbeck’s announcement comes just weeks after Davis — who was first elected to the House in 2000 — announced her retirement, saying the decision was “very difficult” but represents a “desire to live and work ‘at home’ in San Diego.”