Cox does endorse in contested primaries – sometimes

It may have escaped the notice of the media, but when Congressman Cox blew up at Assembly candidate Cristi Cristich for using his likeness on a campaign mailer and touting his endorsement, he may have overlooked the fact that his image and endorsement appears on a mailer pertaining to the campaign of Dr. Alexandria Coronado.

Cox related to the media the fact that he has “over 16 years followed a tradition of not endorsing candidates for the legislature in contested Republican primaries.” The Cox missive did not clarify which legislature he was talking about. Coronado is running against fellow Republican Virgel Nickell for the 47th Congressional District seat currently held by U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-Santa Ana) whereas Cristich is running for the state legislature.

It will be interesting to note how Cox will deal with this instance of apparent double-speak. Almost certainly Cristich will point to it in her defense. Nickell, a past member of the O.C. Republican Party Central Committee, earned the wrath of the party establishment when he donated to the campaigns of Lou Correa (D-69th Assembly District) and Sanchez a few years ago. However, Nickell appears to have a legitimate beef about the Cox endorsement of his primary opponent, and about the involvement of the Chairman of the O.C. Republican Party’s 69th Assembly District Oversight Committee, Tim Whitacre. Whitacre reported earlier this week that he, like Cox, does not endorse in contested primaries, yet he has been providing his office to the Coronado campaign for the purposes of precinct walking.

According to Chuck DeVore, the leading Republican opposing Cristich, the Cox position regarding endorsements only pertains to state legislative races. Again, that is not clear in the documents I have seen, but that would serve to explain the endorsement of Coronado.

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