So far, I have met a number of people who are interested in the seat.
Tom Palzer from the Inland Empire has called me and I have spoken with him at length.
I have met Duf Sundheim, the former CA GOP chairman
I have spoken with John Estrada, Rocky Chavez, and Tom Del Beccaro.
I wish that more top tier candidates were running for the US Senate seat to replace Barbara Boxer, but it does not look like anyone is willing to throw away their winning positions now for something else later.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Darrel Issa, even Northern California's Doug LaMalfa have all said "No thanks."
The fact is that the California Republican Party has a lot of growing and investing to do for the future. Candidates are starting to realize that the fight begins at home, in our own districts. It cannot happen by depending on state parties and functions to do all the work for the local leaders, grassroots activists, and party organizers.
For a stronger statewide race, the work must begin within our assembly and state senate districts. More competition in close seats, and expanding the conservative brand for new ethnic groups who have not heard from the Republican Party in a long a time, or at all.
Now, does that mean a Republican contender for the US Senate is a lost cause?
Absolutely not. In fact, a strong candidate who can help build the party while running for the seat will do wonders for the state, even if the final candidate does not win.
So, here is my rundown on the current contenders:
1.Tom Palzer. He is not a factor in this race for me. I asked him some pointed questions about cap-and-trade and other disconcerting issues, and he could not even provide an answer. He has sought me out a number of times, and I respect that, and I further support his effort to expand conservative principles throughout the state of California once again.
2. Rocky Chavez. I commend his stance on some issues, but when I asked him up front questions about three concerns, I was not happy with what I heard. He believed that Kim Davis of Kentucky should have resigned or signed off on the gay marriage licenses. That is wrong, and a major intrusion into liberty. He does not want to deal with the entitlements, which are bankrupting this country. We have to do something more than just watch the money get spent, and future generations see nothing. As for immigration, Chavez voted for SB-4, which will allow illegal alien minors to access Medi-Cal. That vote was the last straw. I cannot support Rocky. Not going to happen.
3. Tom Del Beccaro. The more that I see of him, the more I see an author looking to sell books or an intellect looking to shoot interviews and star in radio spots. Dealing with him personally, he demonstrates a lack of focus. He is high-maintenance, more interested in himself than others. And all this talk about a flat tax. "Sign the pledge!" Really? The Republican Party is already solid on the tax issues. The CA GOP held firm against increases this year. Kudos to them. How about substantive plans to deal with entitlements, immigration, and individual liberty?
But it gets worse with Del Beccaro. As CA GOP chairman for one term, 2011-2013, the party went into debt, a mess which Brulte had to clean up. Tom went on thousands of interviews, but did he raise any money? Did he strengthen individual candidates to fight? No, no, no. Republicans lost seats, and ended up in the super-minority for the first time. No leadership there. Insiders informed me that donors demanded that Del Beccaro step down, or they would not donate any more money. Tom is not a team player, but a me-player. No thanks.
So, who's left?
I like John Estrada's conservative credentials, but for now, I find Duf Sundheim to be the conservative who is the most electable. He has raised money, he listens to people and he has even reached out to me to see how I am doing. He gave spot-on answers about liberty, and he recognizes the need to deal with entitlements in this country. I am hoping that more people of all backgrounds can get Duf to rethink his stance on immigration. Time will tell.
Now, we need to get another Democrat in the US Senate race, or one of them has to drop out. Any thoughts on how to make that happen?