High-stakes power struggles will play out in San Jose this weekend at the California Democratic Party’s political convention.
The three-day event starts today at the McEnery Convention Center and features a keynote Saturday by Vice President Joe Biden.
More than 3,200 delegates will help pick the party's next generation of elected leaders. Among the highlights of the confab will be watching state Attorney General Kamala Harris and Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez compete for official endorsement in their bid to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer.
In the contested 17th Congressional District, eight-term Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) needs a simple majority to win the endorsement over his longstanding rival, Fremont attorney Ro Khanna. The incumbent fell short of landing the pro forma endorsement earlier this month when 24 of the district’s 86 convention delegates signed a petition—at Khanna’s behest—denying the party’s automatic support.
At a pre-endorsement conference in Oakland this month, Honda fell a couple votes shy of the 70 percent needed to claim the party’s backing. He now has to continue the fight this weekend in front of a considerably larger gathering of state party leaders. It doesn't help that he's the subject of a House ethics investigation.
Vying to succeed Assemblywoman Nora Campos (D-San Jose), who terms out of the District 7 seat this year: Darcie Green, Madison Nguyen, Ash Kalra, Andres Quintero, Cong Do and Esau Ruiz Herrera.
Also terming out is Assemblyman Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park), leaving Silicon Valley’s District 24 up for grabs by Josh Becker, Mike Kasperzak, Vicki Veenker, Marc Berman, Seelam Reddy and Zachary Ross.
To view the party’s pre-endorsement results, click here.
State party endorsements offer more than just bragging rights—they come with actual money, phone-banking, precinct-walking and other support. They also guide voters, who often look for the Dem seal of approval in casting a vote.
Here’s a look at the endorsing caucus schedule. The party will not endorse a presidential candidate, but will choose delegates to send to the Democratic National Convention.
While the convention gives delegates a chance to decide on whom to award those coveted endorsements, it also serves as pep rally and strategy session.
— CA Democratic Party (@CA_Dem) February 26, 2016
California Democrats on Sunday will revise their statement of shared principles and priorities. The 25-page manifesto calls for a government ban on out-of-network ATM fees, a 100 percent switch to renewable energy sources by 2030, universal use of police body cameras and support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
The draft 2016 platform also includes a statement on terrorism indicating that it’s impossible to eradicate with “war and brute force.” But while the 2014 version called for a 30 percent cut in defense spending, the latest iteration asks for a gradual, responsible reduction.
Click here to take a look at the 2016 draft platform, which includes sections on the economy, civil justice, children and families, communications and the Internet and right-to-die legislation, among other issues. To keep up with the action, follow the #CADEM16 hashtag on Facebook and Twitter.
— Javier Panzar (@jpanzar) February 26, 2016