CA-48: Laura Oatman joins selfless heroic ranks of Chen & Janowicz, backs Rouda.


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Hats off to former 48th-Congressional-District Democratic candidate Laura Oatman, who was Greg’s favorite in that race.  She’s joined the ranks of Democratic candidates like Jay Chen and Phil Janowicz (in the 39th) who got realistic about their chances of winning and prioritized a Democrat making it through June’s jungle primary.

Jay and Phil have not yet thrown their support behind any of their former rivals in the 39th, but Laura encourages her fans to support Harley Rouda, who along with Hans Kierstead is a frontrunner in the race.  This comes soon after Harley wins the endorsement of OC’s three Democratic Congressmembers (Lou Correa, Alan Lowenthal, Linda Sanchez) who endorsed in defiance of the DPOC’s backing of Hans.  I (Vern) have reservations about both these guys, which I won’t get into, because I trust EITHER of them to help stop the Trump agenda in Washington, which is by far the most important thing right now.

So, cheers, Laura Oatman!  Here is her statement (with Vern’s BOLDING):

There are 8 Democratic candidates in the race for US Congressional District CA-48 against Dana Rohrabacher. Quite simply, the Democrats need to unify around one candidate for our best chance to win this seat. Orange County, the eyes of the nation are on us. Let’s do something extraordinary.

At a debate in January, all 8 candidates were asked if they polled less than 20% among Democrats, less than 10% among all parties, would they drop from the race, and they agreed. That was 7 weeks before the March 9 ballot filing deadline. Where was the polling that might have helped hold candidates to that promise? Our team discovered this poll 2 days AFTER the filing deadline, showing Rohrabacher with 35%; Harley & I tied for 2nd at 10%; all 6 other Dem candidates less than 10%. This poll probably existed before March 9, with all the information we needed to narrow the Democratic field down to 2 candidates, but it was never shared with us, or at least not with me.

So the week leading up to March 9, I wrestled tremendously with the decision of whether to stay in and fight for a win, or drop and not file. I sought counsel from several respected Democratic Party members that week, and received conflicting advice – “you must quit and back Hans”; “you must stay in; you’re a natural”; “you must stay in to split the woman vote with Rachel”; “you should drop out”. I publicly stated at the debate on March 6th (incorrectly) that I was pretty sure no other “strong Republican” (like Scott Baugh) would enter the race so late in the game. Michael, Omar and I were the last Dem candidates to file our paperwork on March 8th, after Hans, Harley, Rachel, Tony and “Deanie” had already signed on. I guess the idea of unity went out the window that week, though I don’t blame my fellow candidates. I blame whoever paid for the poll above to not have shared it with all of us. That week, most candidates had nothing to inform their decision to stay or drop except for the voices of our own supporters, encouraging us to stay in.

Then, the other shoe dropped. Republican Scott Baugh filed on the very last day, Friday, March 9th. So we now have 2 big Republicans on ballot, making the possibility of having 2 Republican choices in November very real. All polls now show that we MUST unite around one Democratic candidate to have a chance at a win, even though it’s too late to take our names off the ballot (I checked), even though it’s too late to change our Candidate Statement (I checked). But 7 of us can, and should, suspend our campaigns and throw all of our time, energy and support behind one of us to make sure we have one Democrat on the ballot for November. And in order to win that election in November, that Democrat candidate may not be running against Rohrabacher (a soft target for any one of us), but against Scott Baugh, a tough attorney who is a much more formidable opponent. We must make sure that our one Democratic candidate is not only the strongest candidate, but the strongest candidate on the debate stage as well.

I have said from day one that I have no ego invested in this race. I am here to see that our district flips from red to blue. We are all told by the Party to unify around one candidate, but the Party can’t seem to agree on which one candidate that should be – Hans or Harley? Half the Party backs Hans; the other backs Harley. The lack of unity isn’t being caused by the 8 of us candidates; it is coming from the Party itself. So I made a decision this week, on my own, without asking for anyone’s advice except my husband, and quietly listening to the voices of the people, the voters, my new friends, out there chattering away on social media, and finally listening to my head, my heart and my gut.

I have decided to suspend my campaign and throw 100% of my support behind Harley Rouda, the strongest candidate that we have in this race, and I call on all of the other 6 Democratic candidates to do the same. After spending almost a year now on the campaign trail with many of these candidates, and being perhaps in the best position to give unbiased advice, I believe that he is our best hope to go up against either Dana or Scott in the November primary. The only way we are going to win now is to UNITE.

Rachel, I know you have said repeatedly that this is the year that a woman must win. I beg you to reconsider. We must put our egos aside and our gender aside. Be the unifier and bring the women vote into our larger group, where we are stronger together; don’t let this divide us. Help me bring the women in, together.

Omar, you have become a true friend, but this is not our race to win. The only thing that will be accomplished is that you may take away some votes that we really need, from the people of color who are understandably on your side. Be the unifier that brings in the Spanish-speaking, Muslim and Arab-American communities. Be that great leader and unifier that brings in people of color, and don’t let this divide us.

Michael, you are a strong voice for your generation, an amazing leader; your voice needs to be heard, but I don’t believe this is your time or your race to win. The only thing that will be accomplished is you will take away the millennial vote, the vote that WE desperately need to win. Be the unifier that brings in those young people who support you, and don’t let this divide us.

Tony, you are a powerful, important voice for the working and middle class people, but you must know that you cannot win. We need more authentic, middle-class voices in DC, that’s for sure, but we must accept that until the system is changed from the inside, there is no hope. Be the unifier that brings in the working and middle class, and don’t let this divide us.

Boyd, thank you for taking the high road before March 9 and dropping out of the race, and “Deanie Schaarsmith”, whoever you are…. seriously?

Finally, Hans, this of course will be most difficult for you. I like and respect you very much, I know you have already invested so much time, money and energy into this race, but please be the unifier of the Democratic Party for us, and don’t let this divide us. Let’s do something extraordinary; let’s show the rest of the country, and the world, how we put the greater good before our own egos here in Orange County.

It’s too late to take our names off the ballot, but with a concerted effort by all of us candidates, we can work together, creating new flyers, canvassing, and working just as hard for Harley Rouda as we have been doing for ourselves. I for one will be doing everything I can from now until June 5th, and then on to Nov. 6th, volunteering full-time, working just as hard for him as I have been working for myself. I will be sharing with Harley what I have been working on – Envision America 2050 – a plan for both creating jobs and solving climate change through a massive green revolution. I might even share my French fries with mustard with him once in awhile. Well, okay, maybe that’s going too far…

Harley Rouda is simply our best hope to have a Democrat representing us in this district. Let’s have him carry our banner for us. Let’s do something extraordinary and unexpected, and we can and will win this seat in November. Forward!


About Admin

"Admin" is just editor Vern Nelson or associate editor Greg Diamond sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.