Opinion: Failed California serial candidate ‘Rocky’ De La Fuente wants to help Trump so he can beat him

"Rocky" De La Fuente
Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente ran as a Democrat for president of the United States in 2016.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

President Trump’s lawyers say the president will challenge Senate Bill 27, California’s newly minted and possibly unconstitutional law requiring primary candidates to release five years of tax reform if they want to appear on the March 2020 primary ballot.

But someone already beat him to it: Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente.

De La Fuente, a rich San Diego car dealer and perpetual losing candidate, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court. In the filing, he says he plans to challenge Trump for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2020 and objects to the state adding new qualifications on top of what the U.S. Constitution requires. (Here’s the complaint if you want to check it out; thanks to Ballot Access News for making it available .)

Should Trump be worried about this new apparent challenger? Um, probably not.

De La Fuente has never held public office. He’s run for office a lot, but he’s also lost a lot. He has no real platform other than to win, and no one knows who he is. Those who do know about him might not be impressed by how De La Fuente shamelessly switches his party affiliation as blithely as he might change his tie. In 2016, he ran as a Democrat in the presidential and U.S. Senate primaries. (Do I need to say he won neither?) But he did manage to secure the presidential nominations the Reform Party and the American Delta Party, whatever that is.


But then last year De La Fuente threw in with the GOP when he joined 34 people running against Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the June primary. He garnered just 2% of the votes. Ouch. But at least he can tell himself he did slightly better than neo-Nazi Patrick Little, who only earned 1.3%.

De La Fuente wasn’t counting on California, though, and hedged his bets by running in U.S. Senate primary races in eight other states, also as a Republican. He lost pretty hard in most of those races too. Only in Hawaii and Florida did he have modest voter support.

Then De La Fuente was apparently planning to return to the Democratic Party in 2020 for another likely fruitless presidential primary campaign. I don’t know when or why he changed his mind, but now he says he’s running as a Republican. It was probably a smart move. There are already too many rich people with no experience running in the Democratic race.