Seeking to capitalize on President Trump’s pledges to focus on the nation’s infrastructure, Gov. Jerry Brown is urging the president to consider California’s high-speed rail efforts as part of his first official visit to the Golden State.
“You have lamented that ‘we don’t have one fast train’ in our country,” Brown wrote in a Monday letter to Trump. “Well, Mr. Trump, in California we are trying to fix that. We have a world-class train system under construction. We invite you to come aboard and truly ‘Make America Great Again.’”
Trump’s visit on Tuesday is scheduled to focus on a review near San Diego of prototypes for his promised border wall, followed by a Beverly Hills fundraiser for the Republican National Committee. A spokesman for Brown said the governor is not planning to greet the president on his arrival or accompany him on the border wall inspection.
The deadline came and went, and no prominent Republicans filed to run against Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, meaning for the second election in a row there will be two Democrats facing each other in a race at the top of the ballot in California.
Feinstein, 84, is seeking her fifth full term. She will have 31 opponents on the June 5 primary, with one serious contender, a Democrat, taking most of her attention and showing up in polls.
California has a top-two primary system, which means the top-two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party. In 2016, a handful of Republican candidates in the top of the pack split the GOP vote, and sent then-Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat, to the general election with Democrat Kamala Harris, who won the race. It was the first time two Democrats ran against each other statewide.
Democrats may have added both the 4th and 22nd congressional districts to their California target list, but they face an uphill battle where Republicans hold a large voter registration advantage and where President Trump won by a large margin. Still, several candidates are banking on a wave election to attempt to oust sitting Republicans.
It’s official: Well-known Orange County Republican Scott Baugh filed papers Friday evening to run against GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, his onetime friend and mentor.
In a statement, Baugh said voters “deserve a Representative who is in touch and focused on what’s important to the families who live here.”
“Three decades in Congress can change a person and unfortunately Dana has changed,” his statement continued. “He has lost focus on what’s important and does not seem to understand that the middle-class families in our district care more about their jobs, the economy and taxes than about Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange and marijuana.”
Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iraq war veteran and up-and-comer in the GOP, will give the keynote address at the California Republican Party’s three-day convention in San Diego in early May.
Ernst, the first woman to represent Iowa in Congress, was considered to be on President Trump’s short list of potential vice presidential running mates in the 2016 campaign — but removed her name from consideration.
The senator has come out in opposition to the president’s plan to place tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. She also criticized the White House for the way it handled the Rob Porter domestic abuse scandal.
The Artesia Democrat, who was pressured to quit because of sexual harassment allegations, was among a handful of candidates who took out papers on Friday to run in a special election to fill the vacancy in the 32nd Senate District caused by his own resignation.
Mendoza, 46, is running in the special election for the remaining months of the current term that ends Dec. 3 as well as in the primary for the new, four-year senate term. That means voters on June 5 will see Mendoza as a candidate for two elections at the same time.
Harris is thought to be considering a presidential bid in 2020, and the disclosure was among the first glimpses of the former California attorney general’s finances. Harris released tax returns during the 2016 campaign that showed she and her husband made $1.17 million in 2015 and paid $450,000 in state and federal income taxes.