Cantor: Shawn Nelson for Congress.




Republicans in North Orange County have an image problem.  Voter registration is declining and with good reason.  The Republican message in a 21st Century California lacks appeal to growing constituencies, which is what happens when the majority of the party’s effort goes to defending policies embraced by groups that are well, to be quite blunt about it, dying.

Shawn Nelson is the last and best hope for a rebirth of the Republican Party in CA-39.  If Republicans lose this Congressional seat, which is the anchor for all other political assets North Orange County, Democrats will have nearly unlimited access to resources and campaign cash for the next decade.  It will mean that every Democrat running for City Council, School Board, State Assembly, Dog Catcher, you name it will have a substantive head start over their Republican peers.  This is THE bench building office in this part of the world.  Without it, we’re alone in the dark with nothing but our platform, which is about the same as being alone in the dark, naked in the snow, holding a damp piece of wood.

California needs a healthy conservative party to thrive.  One party rule for any substantive economy in the last 100 years has been a consistent disaster for its residents.  Democrats aren’t going to bring balance to the state by themselves.  Conservatives need to do their part and contribute something to the modern California dream.  We can’t hope to develop policies that support the root of what Republicans should be– pro-liberty, pro-individual, pro-family– while we let bad politicians in our own midst suck at the teat of government.  Getting rid of the later so we can focus on the former means we need to take risks, and if we lose, well, then we lose.

Republicans need someone who understands the families making their homes in this part of the county.  Someone who is not afraid to make a correct but unpopular argument and sticks with it.  Someone with a proven ability to raise money and win.  Most of all, Republicans need someone who will confront members within the party who don’t toe the line.  We currently have a glut of politicians in love with themselves, who use their position to enrich their friends, all at the expense of the tax payer and the party brand.  They need to go.

Shawn Nelson is the only candidate running in CA-39 that gets his voters, fights for his arguments when they’re challenged, and has a proven track record of winning elections.  He’s also widely known as someone who cracks down hard on allies who don’t get in line.  That’s exactly who and what we need.  The consequences in this race are steep:

If Shawn Nelson does not win in CA-39, the Republican brand will be dead in this part of the county for at least ten years.

If Shawn Nelson does win, he has the personality and resources to permanently rid the county party of tax-suckers, hypocrites, and kleptocrats.  If the OCGOP wants to grow, not be an embarrassment, and actually be relevant this century, this is what needs to happen.  It’s going to be ugly, but the machine that Ed Royce built needs a serious overhaul.  It simply doesn’t work anymore.  It needs teeth, it needs to be ruthless inside and out, and it needs to be ready two years ago.

I’m trusting that Mr. Nelson knows what he’s doing with recent policy statements.  We’ve got a lot riding on what his campaign chooses to front for our shared brand.  This is a must win seat.

Shawn Nelson for CA-39.

CA-39 Candidate Rankings

  1. Shawn Nelson, last and best hope for a conservative North Orange County.
  2. Karen Lee Schatzle, great candidate, hopefully comes back to the party.
  3. Young Kim, very nice person, lacks the ability to win or defend policy.
  4. Steve Vargas, not ready for Congress.  Should have sat this out.
  5. Sam Jamaal, credible liberal, which I respect.  Last real liberal in the race.
  6. Bob Huff, should have retired after his last loss.  Would be an all-Republican final.  If a Dem wins this seat, Bob Huff is the reason why (sorry Bob, but that’s the truth.)
  7. All the also-ran Republicans
  8. All the also-ran NPPs
  9. All the also-ran Democrats


10.  Andy Thornburn, Shouldn’t be rewarded for selfishly squashing Jay Chen.

11.  Gil Cisneros, Shouldn’t be rewarded for selfishly squashing Jay Chen.

About Ryan Cantor

Our conservative columnist, raised in North Orange County, works as an auditor.