CAGOP U.S. Senate Candidates – Missed Opportunity

William Del PilarWilliam Del Pilar 2 Comments


A conservative Latino’s view on politics…

The California Republican Party (CAGOP) implemented endorsement rules to separate those who simply want to see their names on a ballot from those who want to be contenders. One criterion is 200 delegate endorsement signatures and at least 10 of them must be from delegates of the eight regions. In other words, they must work to be considered for the Republican Party endorsement. That includes candidates for U.S. Senate.

It’s not easy, and they must travel throughout the state. It’s incumbent on the candidates to get out and interact with the delegates whose endorsement they’ll need. It’s the only way to gain those signatures and secure an endorsement potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds of thousands of votes!

Not one Republican U.S. Senate candidate secured the necessary signatures to qualify for endorsement consideration. On the voting floor, some at the CAGOP convention wanted to forego this criterion. It went nowhere.

It’s disappointing because this endorsement could’ve vaulted one of these candidates into the top two. Specifically, I’m looking at the top-four Republican vote-recipients inexcusably ignoring their best opportunity to gain an advantage over their opponents. To consolidate conservative and Republican voters around one party-endorsed candidate.

The Excuse

The excuse I heard from one candidate for not gathering enough signatures was appalling. This candidate said their focus was on another political issue of higher priority. There was no time to gather signatures. I didn’t have the heart to say how wrong that was, so I politely said thank you for the time and good luck. I was shaking my head as I walked away, surprised this candidate thought the excuse was justifiable.

If you don’t view your run for U.S. Senate as your highest priority, then why run? It makes no sense and all your name on the ballot does, is siphon votes from other Republicans. If finances are an issue, maybe you should seek a lesser office.

“But but but William, money’s what’s wrong with politics. You’re wrong to say that,” my critics say. Reality check people! Money is a prerequisite to run for higher office. Right or wrong, that’s how it works.

Use Common Sense

Common sense should help rule your decision in deciding if you enter an expensive race. California’s a “YUGE” state and if you can’t cover the basic financials as a grassroots candidate, then you shouldn’t run. If your names on the ballot just sucking votes from another candidate, then reconsider.

The Republican Party bears some responsibility in helping find candidates with finances and backing to run. I’m not talking establishment flunkies (see Duf Sundheim), but a compromise of the Republican voters will, and donors wishes, but that’s a story for another day.

Republicans Wanted a Candidate

The 2018 primary numbers showed Californians wanted a Republican to compete for U.S. Senate but those who chose to run? Well, none took the endorsement criteria serious enough. That left many voters struggling to figure which candidate to rally around.

  1. James P Bradley: 555, 210
  2. Arun K. Bhumitra: 350,453
  3. Paul A Taylor: 323,017
  4. Erin Cruz: 266,973
  5. Tom Palzer: 204,733
  6. *Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente: 135,109
  7. John “Jack” Crew: 93,607
  8. Patrick Little: 89,742
  9. Kevin Mottus: 87,508
  10. Jerry Joseph Laws: 66,995
  11. Mario Nabliba: 39,153

Total Republican Votes: 2,212,500 (as of July 2, 2018)
(*De La Fuente’s a Democrat disguised as a Republican)

Ironically, U.S. Senate was the race I received the most questions on who to vote for. I was struggling with it because Cruz was my favorite, but the numbers weren’t adding up, so I voted Bradley in the hopes we could vault him to No. 2. Those who asked, I told to do the same… we failed. Once the numbers began to come in, I believed an endorsed Republican Party candidate would’ve received most of the Republican votes – enough to vault him or her into the top two, thus my disappointment.

Another Cycle and no Candidate

We enter our second straight US senatorial cycle without a Republican on the ballot in November. That’s pathetic! Thank you, Charles Munger Jr., and CAGOP leadership.

Despite that, this go-round I don’t blame the party. The same party that sabotaged the last legitimate U.S. Senate candidate, simply because he was a conservative. This time I fault the candidates as CAGOP leadership stayed out of this race. Why did they stay out it? That’s another sad, pathetic CAGOP tale for a different day.

Regardless, had one of the 11 candidates qualified for endorsement consideration. They would’ve won! Going one step further that person would be on the ballot in November. We must do better my friends, we must do better.

This article originally appeared at June 17, 2018.

William Del Pilar is politically active, currently sitting on the Valley Center Community Planning Group board (VCCPG). As an entrepreneur, Del Pilar drove his fantasy sports company to set the standard for analysis and news distribution, helping to commercialize the industry from 1997-2008. Del Pilar sat on the boards of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) and Fantasy Sports Ventures (now owned by Gannett Co., Inc.).


Comments 2

  1. “Total Republican Votes: 2,212,500 (as of July 2, 2018)”

    The total votes for a candidate with “DEM” after their name was a little over 4.2 million. None of the listed Republicans had any chance to win in the General Election even if he/she did finish in the top two in the Primary.

  2. Post

    Hypocrisy, step one is getting on the ballot. The article has nothing to do with the general and possibly winning as much as their failures to do what was necessary to get in the top two.

    BTW, the numbers said the same thing about Donald Trump in other states. I’m not making a direct comparison as much as there’s a reason they play the game. Prior to his entry into the 2008 primaries, the numbers told Obama he shouldn’t run and lo and behold.

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