🗳️ June 2022 Primary Election Ballot Analysis (I): Introduction & Federal

Here in California (and in Los Angeles in particular), we have an election coming up. For months, one of the wealthiest candidates has been blanketing the airwaves, together with ads from the Native-American Casino Lobby, fighting against a ballot initiative that isn’t even on this ballot. Now that both the sample ballots and the real ballots* have been mailed, the political advertising has increased by an order of magnitude. That’s where I come in. Every election, I do a detailed ballot analysis of my sample ballot. This is where I examine each candidate and share my conclusions, and invite you to convince me to vote for the other jerk.
* California gives all registered voters the option to vote by mail and to vote early.

Because this is a long ballot, I’m splitting it into a few chunks (note: links may not be available until all segments are posted):

  1. National Offices** (including US Congress)
  2. Local Offices*** (excluding US Congress and State Assembly)
  3. Judicial Offices
  4. California Statewide Offices*** (including State Assembly)
  5. Summary

** Bucking the convention of my sample ballot, however, I’m including our Congressional Representative in this section.
*** Bucking the convention of my sample ballot, I’m including state legislative officers with the Statewide officers. In my case, that is my Assemblycritter, as we have no State Senator running for office this election.

This part covers the National Offices (i.e., the US Legislative Branch):

  • Federal: US Senate (two elections) ❦ US Representative, 32nd District


US Senate

The Senate election in California is weird. Dianne Feinstein (whom you would love to vote on because she needs to be replaced with someone younger) was elected in 2018, meaning she’s not on the ballot until 2024. The seat we are voting on is Kamala Harris’ seat, which was vacated when she was elected Vice President in 2020. Harris was elected in 2016, meaning that her seat is up for reelection this year.

Here’s the problem. When Harris became VP, the Governor appointed Alex Padilla to replace her. But state law requires that appointment be voted upon at the next statewide election … which is this one. So one of the senate elections is for the remainder of Kamala Harris’ term. That term ends in January 2023, so the “replacement” election is for perhaps 6 months.

This means there are two senate elections: one for the full term (2023-2029), and one for the remainder of the current term.

US Senator – Full Term (Jan 2023 through Jan 2029)

This is the seat that everyone wants — and everyone is running. Unfortunately for the Republicans, they still haven’t figured out how California’s “jungle primary” works. Running lots of candidates only ensures that you will divide the vote and not have a Republican candidate come out in the top two. That’s fine by me, but I’m a Democrat. If the Republicans want a chance, they need to run just one candidate in any primary. I’m not sure they ever will.

◯ Jon Elist (R)

First and foremost: I hate unsolicited online videos.  I go to this guy’s website, and the first thing I get is an online video about Pinocchio noses. Strike One.  The next thing I see is his introductory statement: “Unlike Padilla, who has been a career politician for nearly twenty-five years and has not had a private sector job since the 1990s, Elist is an outsider, entrepreneur, and successful businessman who brings a fresh perspective that is desperately needed in California and Washington D.C.” This is coming straight from the Trump playbook: build on the generic hatred of career politicians (never minding that they know how to get things done (It is a skill)), and saying that his outsider business skills are what are needed in Washington. That is going to be a big theme this year, but running a business is very different than running a government.   Strike Two.

Next, I go over to his issues page, because that’s often the first place where I can find major disagreements.  His page introduction states “No more partisan talking points”, yet when I get to his Education section, I see “I believe that parents must have a say on whether Critical Race Theory (CRT) is the appropriate framework for their children’s education”. Sorry, but that is partisan talking point, because CRT is something that is only addressed in law schools. The term CRT has been grabbed by the Trumpublican party as a code word for anything that makes white folks feel bad about what their ancestors did in the past (to put it bluntly).  He also says ” I also believe that parents must have a say on what sexual content is shared with their children.” This again is echoing the R view that schools are somehow indoctrinating children to be radical homosexuals or transsexuals (not understanding that schools have nothing to do with that). In fact, yet another red flag is Elist’s overuse of the term “radical”. On Election Integrity, he writes “politicians like Alex Padilla have pushed for radical changes to our election system that inherently make it less secure”. Radical changes? Making it easier for more citizens to vote? On Environmental Protection, he writes “Unfortunately, some radical people have abused these rules in order to stop any development whatsoever, regardless of how environmentally sensible they may be.” Again, those radicals. His issues are strike three.

This guy is cut from Trumpian cloth, and is not for me.

 Pamela Elizondo(Green)

Elizondo doesn’t appear to have a website of her own. From what I can see, she ran for Senate in 2016 and lost. She’s also 78 years old, so adding a 6 year Senate term to that would make her … well, about the average age of senior senator 😁 . But seriously, 78 is a bit old for an incoming senator who should be there for multiple terms to get seniority and prime committee positions.  Her focus is on the environmental, and reading her Green party statement demonstrates she has no understanding of the constitution, its limits, and how Federal government works.  Here are two of her five points in her plan: “2) Governments should BUY what they want through private business rather than spend trillions of TAXPAYERS¡¯ war dollars STEALING it. 3) Money now wasted on taxpayers¡¯ NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS (defense space research, charity to other countries, unneeded building-skyscrapers, sports arenas, governors¡¯ mansions, convention centers) should be diverted grants for existing & future business to be used only for employment, benefits, researching & restoring the Earth.”

I don’t believe she is a credible candidate.

◯ Dan O’Dowd (D)

O’Dowd is an interesting fellow.  He’s the fellow behind Green Hills Software, which was one of the last high assurance kernels to be evaluated before we stopped doing High Assurance stuff. He runs a project called The Dawn Project that states he is “creating software that never fails and can’t be hacked”. Sorry, but the only perfect software is software that isn’t running. From my cybersecurity perspective, he’s living in a fantasy world. This carries on to his campaign. The Santa Barbara Independent noted that he is running “on a single issue — to “make computers safe for humanity.” ” going on to note that he has launched a multimillion-dollar ad campaign targeting Tesla’s full self-driving software as dangerous and apt to drive off the road and into other vehicles.  He is a single issue candidate, targeting Elon Musk. Single issue candidates are not appropriate to represent the state in the US Senate.

Reading through his website confirms his single issue focus. Although I agree there are far too many lawyers in the legislature, not all engineers are right for the job. A single issue focus is wrong for the Senate.

◯ Cordie Williams (R)

Williams’ website bothers me from the start with the coded language being used. Consider “protect Californians’ right to make important decisions for themselves and their families due to the pandemic eroding freedom to make individual choices.” That’s clearly a call to the no-vax, no-mask crowd — a philosophy that would have been much worse for California. There’s also “politicians like Alex Padilla are destroying the California Dream by turning it into an unrecognizable third world nation”. That “third world nation” language is an expression of anti-immigrant sentiment, speaking to the folks who believe that the best America is one that looks like the founders of the nation.  But wait, there’s more. His issue page on Education states: “Dr. Williams is unequivocally opposed to racially divisive material being taught in our schools. He will oppose at every turn Critical Race Theory”. The notion that such material is being taught is a Trumpian talking point, where they oppose anything that teaches objective history. He uses the Trumpian narrative about a stolen election “Dr. Williams will support measures that rebuild the integrity of American elections, including forensic audits of all elections, photo ID requirements, signature matching, frequently cleaning voter rolls, and prohibiting ballot harvesting. “

We have another candidate cut from the Trump cloth. Next…

 Deon D. Jenkins (None)

This fellow’s Senate campaign page has the URL “deon for president”. Come again? He appears to be a grassroots hip-hop organizer who is pushing for reparations and promoting his album.  His main page has links to his music and shows, not issues and endorsements. He has another page where he notes (and yes, this is a single sentence): “My vision was simple: transform any platform that I had as a grass roots hip hop organizer into a platform for a Presidential candidacy, because I saw the empty vacuum of Black Agenda candidates, especially on the Presidential level, so I pledged that if I ran then I would only represent for a demographic being neglected out of the political space as a Black Agenda Priority Candidate, so I kept the ideas of Reparations at the center of my platform, and the brutal disregard for my campaign as the only candidate who kept Reparations at the center of my agenda made me work harder, and drive it harder, because I represented the real Black American, and what I was experiencing is exactly what many Black Americans experience on a daily basis.”

He seems to be a single issue candidate. Next…

 Carlos Guillermo Tapia (R)

Tapia appears to have no website. I can find no statements of his on the issues. No background on the candidate, anywhere. I do not judge him to be a credible candidate.

 Mark P. Meuser (R)

I looked through Meuser’s website to see if I could figure out anything regarding his positions on the issues. There’s some biographical stuff where he seems to love history. There’s some blog posts that have bunches of words but say nothing of substance. So I took a look at his Twitter page. The fellow is strongly anti-Biden. Based on his tweets, he is anti-VAX, and he is echoing the Republican line on CRT. He blames Biden for the increases in gas prices (Biden had no control over what private corporations charge). Just reading through his feed makes clear he is another candidate who is riding on the coattails of Trump’s disruption. His values are not those of California.


 Chuck Smith (R)

Talk coded messages: Right on the front page of his website is a scrolling marque “Truth, Freedom, and the US Constitution”. His site is pushing the “America First” notion (again, coded language), brings up the “Critical Race” theory nonsense, states that he is strongly pro-life, and talks about religious freedom. He includes quotes like “the rule of law under God is acknowledged” (which is the opposite of religious freedom).  He also has this line in his website: “PATRIOT vs GLOBALIST ELITE. Vote for Chuck, a patriot that loves this country and with God’s help, will return it to the greatest nation on Earth.” References to “globalism” are references to an antisemitic theory.

I cannot support this guy. Next…

 John Thompson Parker (P&F)

There are many who believe that Democrats as Socialists. We are not. However, they are out there, and this fellow is their candidate. It says so right on his campaign page: “ohn Parker, Socialist Unity Party and Peace and Freedom Party candidate for US Senate in 2022”. But other than that, there’s precious little information on his pages. He’s antiwar, anti white supremacy, and … well, socialist. But other than that jingoism, he has no idea of what the real job is.

Nope. Next…

Alex Padilla (D) Inc

Padilla is the current US Senator, having been appointed to take over Harris’ seat. His website doesn’t have a good issues page, but his “about” page does highlight his accomplishments since his appointment. He hasn’t been that much of a leader, but he’s only had a year or two in a junior position. He has supported the right issues, and his early legislative and state actions have been good.  I don’t see anything in his pages that eliminates him from consideration.

Looking for more information, I read through the LA Times endorsement for Padilla: “As the state’s election chief, Padilla had already shown he had the mettle to take on national issues by offering a sober and factual counterpoint to President Trump’s frequent lies about election fraud. And his long political resume as secretary of state, as state senator representing the San Fernando Valley and as Los Angeles City Council president made it clear he was among the few ready to step up to the Senate seat on short notice. He did that with ease, and now, just slightly over a year since he took office, Padilla has proven that he is as capable, as honorable, as skilled a lawmaker as we expected. California’s junior senator immediately and competently stepped into the debate — pushing to include social safety benefits for immigrants in the “Build Back Better” plan and co-writing bipartisan legislation that, among other things, would reinvest in the nation’s electrical grid and fund electric school buses and were included in last year’s infrastructure package signed by President Biden.”

So far, he seems like the best candidate in this bunch.

 Enrique Petris (R)

Petris does not appear to have a webpage, nor any statements of position online. Next…

 Obaidul Huq Pirjada (D)

His only candidate pages appear to be either his personal Facebook page or a YouTube channel. I can’t take his candidacy seriously if he doesn’t.

◯ Douglas Howard Pierce (D)

His webpage looks right, but is off in some oddly telling ways. There is no mention of experience, no prior elected office. He is very focused on criminal justice. He has a bunch of “special messages” to various interest groups that are all YouTube videos. He had a whole page touting how he is an “American Patriot”. He includes the Pledge of Allegiance. Why, on a campaign website.  Perhaps you’ll get a sense from this quote: ” I will uphold all rights of all people of the Great California that speaks: Native American Tribes, English, Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean, Armenian, Persian, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Punjabi, Mon-Khmer-Cambodian, Hmong, Hindi, Bengali, Thai, and MISSING CHILDREN and ADULTS VOICES, VICTIM VOICES that will never speak again! I promise to protect California’s 40+ Million, Constitutional Rights, Uphold Sovereignty, and Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America.” Huh?

Something is raising my spidey senses here. Next…

 Myron L. Hall (R)

This guy is a Beverly Hills Podiatrist. I kid you not. His web page plays to typical Republican issues: Pro-life. Pro-guns. Anti-mandates. His webpage doesn’t say much more, so it is unclear whether he is truly cut from the Trump cloth. But even if he isn’t, I cannot support his positions on the issues he does state. Further, I don’t believe he has the experience or training for the US Senate. Next.,,

 Timothy J. Ursich (D)

Here we have another doctor, this time a chiropractor. He has no elected experience. I read through his issues page, and he has a number of interesting positions. But the key thing is: they are predominately state or local issues, not things that would be addressed at the Senate level. This makes me wonder how well he understands the Senate. It appears he would do much better — and have more effect — running for state assembly or senate first. Then there is the oddly specific issue:  “Doctors of Physical Therapy should have the right to order MRI’s to monitor progress or changes in progress if they believe there may be an underlying issue as they treat their patients. There are many instances where the DPT has to send the patient back to their MD for re-evaluation, which causes loss of time in continued treatment because it regularly takes weeks to get in to see your MD. Doctors of Physical Therapy should also be allowed to prescribed 2-3 day doses of Pain Medication for patients who are post op as pain medication often allows patients the chance to perform/be pushed in recovery which drastically increases the time needed to recover from post op procedures.” Something tells me this is his real reason for running.

Essentially, I somewhat like his positions, but I really think he needs to work on them at the state, not Federal level. He seems too inexperienced for the position, and the US Senate is not where I want someone inexperieced. We’ve seen how the Republicans have fumbled the ball doing that. Next…

 James “Henk” Conn (Green)

Looking at his campaign website, he has two major issues and some minor ones. His main positions are ending pollution (including drilling for oil) and ending economic ineqality. These, in general, I tend to agree with (although the issue of drilling is more nuanced as we need petroleum for a number of products other than gas, and we’re not going to phase out the internal combustion engine immediately). But a large number of his minor issues are state level, not Federal issues. This is another case of a political neophyte thinking the Senate can do everything when it can’t — which would make him an ineffective senator.  His background is as a social worker, with one failed campaign for Mayor of Long Beach.

I think he’s, well, too green. Next…

 Don J. Grundmann (None)

I open up this fellow’s web page, and I’m immediately aware that this is not the candidate for me. There is a picture of a drag performer reading to children, with the line “They are attacking the children, stop the mutilation of children”. There are intimations that gays and trans folk are “recruiting” children. He claims Planned Parenthood is targeting and killing blacks.  He states climate change is a lie, and that “the plantation masters of the nation” are using social engineering to promote hysteria. Unsurprisingly, his front page brings up the trans restroom issue, and incites fear. He’s promoting the “Constitution Party”. Reading his issues page, he strikes me as even more right-wing than Trump, into the “sovereign american” camp.

Hell no.

◯ Eleanor Garcia (None)

I can find no campaign website, only a ballotpedia page. That page notes three top priorities: (1) Massive public works program at union wages to rebuild the infrastructure and put people to work. (2) Immediate end to the embargo against Cuba. U.S. out of Guantanamo. All U.S. troops out of the Middle East. (3) Organize workers to build a movement to fight for political power. Replace the capitalist government with a workers and farmers government. This comes across as extremely socialist / communistic. This is confirm by her link in the Ballotpedia page, which is to “The Militant“, a strong socialist workers paper. I don’t agree with those positions. Further, again there is no political experience and no understanding of the senate. Nope.

◯ Robert George Lucero Jr (R)

Lucero is the only R candidate I’ve seen to date that isn’t echoing Trumpian positions or standard Republican talking points. He wants dialogue with other nations to end nuclear war, ending homelessness, and getting more jobs. This might be from this fellows background, as he states “As a new Republican and a former leader in the California Democratic Party…”. But then he makes a key misstep — his About Me page ends with “That American Revolution must continue, one for the people, not George Soros’s oligarchs.”. The whole George Soros canard is a link to the globalism canard, which itself is connected with antisemitic tropes.

So although he seems like the most reasonable Republican out there, I fear there is more in what he is not saying. He has the right background on paper, but he hasn’t got the experience to go right to the Senate. Especially as he claims to be from the Central Valley, I’d be interested in seeing him run for the state legislature or perhaps the house, replacing R candidates that are much more right wing. But for this campaign for this office, I have to say no.

◯ Sarah Sun Liew (R)

The front page of her campaign site starts with a troubling phrase “I’m here to fight for God’s American justice”. Excuse me? God’s justice? Whose god would that be, precisely?  She then goes on to say “Sarah supports leaders like President Donald Trump and was very impressed and motivated by his valiant fight for Christian civilization and American Justice. As the most conservative Republican candidate currently running, who also serves God as a pastor, Sarah supports those who are fighting to keep America a Christian nation, and as California’s Senator, she will always support them.” America is NOT a Christian nation. Nope. Nope. Nope.

I don’t really need to go much further, but her issues page shows her as anti-regulation (this is a key R point about abolishing the regulation state). The rest of her issues page is all over the place, but my key problem is her unabashed loyalty and Trump, and her talking like he is still the President. I cannot support someone like that.

🔘 Daphne Bradford (None)

Bradford was acknowledge by the Obama administration as a Champion of Change. Her website states the right goals: “affordable housing, affordable health care, safe neighborhoods, federal law enforcement reforms, reimagined public safety throughout the state of CA, equal and affordable education”. She also emphasizes being bipartisan.  Alas, her platform issues section is less a description, and more a graphic. She is also running as an independent. She does not have elective experience.

Maybe as a backup…

◯ James P. Bradley (R)

Reading through this fellow’s positions, there are a number of Trumpian talking points that are problematic. For example (and yes, he writes in all caps): “NO ON CRITICAL RACE THEORY AND RISE ABOVE POLITICAL NARRATIVE CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY”. Remember, CRT is something taught in law school. What these R are protesting is anything that might make white children feel bad about being white (i.e., things that white people did in the past).  There is “PARENTAL RIGHT TO OPT-OUT OR PROVIDE INPUT TO CURRICULUM, EXAMPLE: SEX EDUCATION”. Translation being: Only teach my view on the role of women and of sex. There is “REPEAL AB 5 THAT ELIMINATES SELF-EMPLOYED INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS”. Although I agree with repealing AB5, that’s a state bill and has nothing to do with the US Senate.  There’s a similar problem with “RESTORE YOUR RIGHTS TO CHOOSE BY REMOVING MANDATES. REPEAL SB277”. First, state mandates are appropriate at the state level (states have the role in regulating public health), but a state senate bill can’t be undone at the US Senate level.  He also touts the Trump line on the election and goes off on the Deep State. Nope.

Akinyemi Agbede (D)

This fellow is a mathematician from Nigeria. I’ve read through his issues page, and I actually like his positions on the issues. But he has no electoral or legislative experience. Further, he has lines like “I have tremendously used my super genius brain to the benefit of the American students by instilling in them skills, confidence and competence in solving ANY Mathematical problems.” Sigh. I can’t take him seriously.

📋 Conclusion

What is it about California elections that bring out everyone under the sun to run. I generally disagree with Donald Trump (I only agreed with him on the creation of Space Force), and disagree even more with his claims and positions since he lost the election. That’s right, he lost. So those who support him don’t get my support. I also want someone as Senator that understands the role of the Senate, is congruent with me on the issues, and hopefully has some experience.

There’s only one candidate for this office that meets that bill: Alex Padilla. No one else has experience in state or local government. We’ve seen the turmoil and problems outsiders can bring. There was only one candidate that was a backup possibility: Daphne Bradford. But Bradford is running as an independent, which risks the hold on the Senate, and does not have electoral experience.

So  Alex Padilla it is.

US Senator – Short Term (ending Jan 2023)

This seat is a little different: they are running for office for what is likely to be a six month term. Just a few candidates, all of whom were discussed above.

 Mark P. Meuser (R)

Alex Padilla (D) Inc

 Myron L. Hall (R)

 Timothy J. Ursich (D)

🔘 Daphne Bradford (None)

◯ James P. Bradley (R)

◯ Jon Elist (R)

◯ Dan O’Dowd (D)

📋 Conclusion

The logic here is the same as with the full term seat. The conclusion is the same as well: Alex Padilla.

US House of Representatives, 32nd District

I’ll note that we’ve had much of this contest before. Sherman and Rab are regulars in this race.

Brad Sherman (D) Inc

Brad Sherman has been representing this district (or the neighboring district, as two were merged a few years ago) for a long time. I have generally agreed with his actions in office, and he has been an effective communicator with his constituents. As his campaign page notes, this would be his 13th term (i.e., he’s been in office for 25 years). That also means he has the seniority (esp. if Democrats are in power) to make a difference. That’s something that wouldn’t be true for a clueless newbie. I agree with him on the issues. So I would need good reason to replace someone I like.

🔘 Jason Potell (D)

I’ve read through Jason’s pages, and I have no problems with his positions. For the House, someone newer is acceptable, and he seems to have a reasonable background and good energy. But there’s a key question that he doesn’t answer: Why him, and why now? What does he bring to the table that offsets the 25-year seniority that Sherman brings to the district? What has Sherman done that is problematic enough to justify replacing him? I just don’t see that answer here. I know some folks from my congregation are supporting him. He doesn’t list any endorsements on his campaign page. So he gets a “Maybe”.

🔘 Aarika Samone Rhodes (D)

Yet another interesting candidate. Reading through her policies page, she’s a bit more on the progressive side (i.e., “Berniecrat”). That’s not a bad thing, and seems to be the newer trend. I’m not sure I’m there yet. Her background is more of a teacher and a campaign organizer. She seems to have passion. She has lots of individual endorsements. One that stands out to me is Rabbi Neil Comiss-Daniels; Neil and I went to camp together, and I do respect his views.  So yet again we have another “Maybe”.

Raji Rab (D)

Ah, Raji Rab. He’s been running for a long time in this district: Ballotpedia shows he has been trying for this seat since 2016. He’s got the right positions. I can’t put my finger on it, but I can’t seem to be enamored of him; I’m not sure he would be that effective.  He does not list any endorsements.

Lucie LaPointe Volotzky (R)

Looking at her issues page, one can see common R talking points. For example “No transgender should participate in our women’s sport!”. No explanation, no background. That says everything about an attitude towards transgender (the right answer, by the way, is to eliminate the distinction between men and women’s sports, and instead use strength/weight categories). She’s in favor of gun rights. She states “Let’s bring back business from China.” without providing any reason for those businesses to come back. Does she want to underpay and abuse our labor? Does she want to weaken environmental law? That’s why labor goes to China. So she’s naive.  She states “We have the highest inflation in 40 years. It was caused by printing too much money”. No, it was caused by supply chain issues, combined with unexpectedly high demand. So she doesn’t understand economics either. She’s not the right person for this job.

🔘 Shervin Aazami (D)

Here we have another Democrat running for office, but this one is bold enough to state a reason why Sherman should go: “For too long, our seat in Congress has been occupied by a corporate, Wall Street Democrat who refuses to fight for economic justice and racial equity.” The translation of this being: Although Sherman is Democratic, he isn’t sufficiently progressive for the direction the party is going. His issues platform is strongly progressive, and makes a case as to why he believes Sherman has been ineffective: “During his tenure, Rep. Sherman has failed to champion a single piece of progressive legislation to address the most pressing socioeconomic issues in our community. Instead, Sherman continues to raise hundreds of thousands from corporate donors including private equity firms, commercial banks, defense contractors, and agribusinesses that are actively thwarting action on progressive policies – like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal and universal basic income.” Reading through the issues, Aazami is strongly in the Berniecrat camp. He has a slew of endorsements, mostly from strongly progressive people and organizations. Again a strong “Maybe”

Melissa Toomim (R)

Toomim seems not to be a Trumpublican. Her issues page is like, but I’m not seeing any of the hot point buttons. But I’m also not seeing much else. There is talk of integrity. There is support for Israel. There’s attacking runaway production. There’s addressing the unhoused. There’s securing the border. That’s it. I don’t think she’s fully thought things out.

📋 Conclusion

This decision is a hard one. On the one hand, we have Brad Sherman. Sherman’s been doing a good job for 25 years, and his values generally align with mine. But I’m a moderate, not a super-progressive. On many issues, I believe the way to get where we need to be is a slow and steady climb, not a sudden jump to the left. On the other hand, we have three “Maybes”.  Jason Potell is also a moderate calling for a change in leadership, but provides no reasons why it should be him as opposed to Sherman, and Sherman has more clout. We have two ultra-progressives: Aarika Samone Rhodes and Shervin AazamiBoth have the progressive chops, but only Aazami makes the strong case of why Sherman has to go. Rhodes wins in the diversity game, but diversity alone doesn’t get one into office. On the progressive side, Aazami probably has the best chance to go toe to toe with Sherman.

That brings us to the jungle primary. The top two vote getters go to the primary. There are enough Republicans in the district that is it likely Volotzky makes it into the primary. If it was Volotzky vs Aazami, would Aazami win? That’s unclear. We wouldn’t go wrong if it was Sherman vs Aazami, except for risking seniority.

I think we need to look at the long picture. We need to hold the house, and can’t risk losing any seat. We need to keep our seniority. For that reason, I’m going to go with Brad Sherman. If you want change, looking at the candidates out there, I’d go with Shervin Aazami

But my vote? Brad Sherman.


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