ICYMI: McClatchy: Thanks to Trump, Democrats may see gains in Once-safe GOP districts in California

[Knight]’s never before endorsed a presidential candidate and “in this campaign it’s served me well.”

Santa Clarita, Calif. – Once again, voters in California’s 25th Congressional District are being reminded of the real motivation behind Steve Knight’s politically calculated decision to disavow Donald Trump.  That was a decision he’s seemingly walked back with his recent debate declaration that this election represents a binary choice and that he “will be voting.”

“Rep. Steve Knight’s last minute disavowal of Trump was never anything more than a thinly-veiled political decision,” said Orrin Evans, Campaign manager for Bryan Caforio. “The 25th District deserves someone who doesn’t weigh his own interests before acting, and Bryan Caforio will always stand up for what’s right.” 


Thanks to Trump, Democrats may see gains in once-safe GOP districts in California
BY Sean Cockerham | McClatchyDC

October 14, 2016

California Republicans running for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives are struggling in the age of Trump, with their challenge intensified by the growing numbers of registered Latino voters. This is Issa’s first tough race since being elected to Congress 16 years ago, and he is not alone.

Rep. Steve Knight, from Lancaster in northern Los Angeles County, also is fighting for his political life as he scrambles to distance himself from Trump, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sees an opening in the Central Valley congressional district around Modesto, now represented by Republican Rep. Jeff Denham of Turlock, a Trump supporter. The committee is spending nearly $700,000 to unseat Denham, whose district now has a population that is more than 40 percent Latino.

The 11-year-old footage of Trump bragging about groping women, followed by women accusing him of groping, has increased the pressure on California Republicans to the breaking point. Knight – after spending the year refusing to say whether he supports Trump or not – announced after the video’s release that he now “cannot support either candidate for president.”

But it’s a different story for Denham and Knight, who represent congressional districts where registered Democrats now outnumber Republicans. Knight, the most vulnerable Republican member of Congress in California, long tried to avoid the Trump issue by refusing to say whether he would vote for the Republican presidential nominee before the video release forced his hand.

Nick Chavez, a third-generation Mexican-American who works in construction in Palmdale, in the high desert an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles, said he hadn’t been impressed with Knight’s waffling over Trump.

“Either put up or shut up,” said Chavez, a registered Republican who is leaning toward voting next month for Knight’s Democratic challenger, Bryan Caforio.

Knight’s district runs from Santa Clarita, a low-key bedroom community of Los Angeles where the surrounding area doubles for the Old West in films and television (scenes from HBO’s “Westworld” were recently filmed there), north along the highway to the working class Antelope Valley cities of Palmdale and Lancaster.

About a quarter of the registered voters in the district are Latino and their registration numbers are growing as the election nears, according to Political Data Inc., a California firm that tracks election data for campaigns.

Caforio’s campaign is on the offensive against Knight for not renouncing Trump until after the groping video was leaked 31 days before the election, with Caforio saying in an interview that Trump is “running the most racist, misogynistic, bigoted campaign in the history of a presidential candidate.”

Knight’s response in an interview to questions about his long silence on Trump was that he’s never before endorsed a presidential candidate and “in this campaign it’s served me well.”

Read the story Here

Caforio was born and raised in Southern California by two public school teachers, attended UCLA and Yale Law School, worked for a United States federal judge, and practices as an attorney taking on some of the world’s biggest banks. Bryan lives in Santa Clarita with his wife Lisa, who serves as a Deputy City Attorney at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.

The 25th District covers northern Los Angeles County and part of Ventura County including the Antelope Valley, Palmdale, Lancaster, Santa Clarita, and Simi Valley. President Obama won the district in 2008, and experts consider this race a toss-up . Last year Democratic registration eclipsed Republican registration, and the district is now majority-minority. National Republicans list Congressman Knight as one of their most vulnerable incumbents.


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