Tuesday, October 19, 2021

California Democrats wary of ‘Beto effect’

By Katelyn Polantz and Neli Esipova, CNN Democrats are trying to keep their distance from a race for a vacant seat in California’s 30th Congressional District that could shape the party’s election fight for the 2020 presidential race. The race’s frontrunner, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-California, has already reached out to some influential national Democrats, including Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Illinois Sen. Tammy

Duckworth, to assure them that she is for Democrats, not Republicans, according to a source familiar with the talks. Sanchez on Friday called into CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” to explain that she did not mean anything by her public outreach. “These people reached out to talk with me and basically say ‘You’re a good person, you’re a good Democrat. You’re a good public servant,’ and they didn’t ask me to get out and

endorse them and I said ‘No, I’m not going to endorse you’ and I’m not looking for any endorsements from them,” Sanchez said. Duckworth told CNN that she had spoken with Sanchez but did not take part in any talk between the two. Brown and Duckworth are both Democratic 2020 presidential contenders. In a campaign email sent out Friday, Duckworth’s campaign contended that Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s mention of

California’s congressional special election was “to confuse voters and move them away from the donkey nominee.” The email also referred to O’Rourke as “Beto Ism” — a play on O’Rourke’s description of himself as “Beto O’Rourke” during his successful bid to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in November. “Between O’Rourke and Sanchez, they’re calling it the FL-30 Special,” the email read. The email featured screenshots

of news coverage about the race, including headlines that read, “O’Rourke heats up the special elections” and “POTUS top of mind as El Paso congressman dives into California’s 30th Congressional District special election.”

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