California Democrats announce local endorsements during convention

Politics and government

The California Democratic Party announced there’s no official endorsement for the 25th Congressional District race and a full endorsement for the 38th Assembly District race, after the party’s weekend-long convention in San Diego.

While Republicans hold both seats, the Democratic Party met to discuss their candidates attempting to unseat Congressman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and Assemblyman Dante Acosta, R-Santa Clarita.

25th Congressional District

Our local congressional election is considered one of the closest-to-call races during this midterm season, according to multiple political websites. Most giving it a rating of a “toss-up,” or slightly leaning toward Knight.

Bryan Caforio, who won the June primary as a Democratic challenger for the seat in 2016, ended with 28 delegate votes against Katie Hill, executive director of People Assisting The Homeless, who won 8; while 17 delegates voted to not endorse anyone. Volcanologist Jessica Phoenix frequently has been in the discussion as the fourth-leading fundraiser in the race, but she failed to pick up a delegate vote at the convention.

Caforio garnered 52.8 percent of the vote, just under the 60 percent threshold to receive the party’s full endorsement. This vote reflects a marked change from January’s pre-endorsement vote in which Caforio won 73 percent of the vote.

“I think we are really proud there was no endorsement,” said Zack Czajkowski, Hill’s campaign manager. “We didn’t want the scales to tip in any direction. We are running the race we want to a positive campaign, this is about beating Knight in November.”

Caforio echoed this saying that he sees the vote as a positive step in the right direction to win in June, and then again in November.

“There is an energy on the ground that is really something to see,” Caforio explained. “To see people are paying attention, and not just Democrats. I’ve had Republicans tell me, ‘We need a change.’”

Caforio cited his lead in the vote count as a sign of confidence he’ll succeed during the primary. He hopes that this strength will lead him into a victory during the general election.

“A non-endorsement in CA-25 from California Democrats is a clear message, our delegates know that the voters in our community deserve the opportunity to go to the polls and choose the person they believe is best suited to represent them,” told Phoenix in a statement given to The Signal.

The candidates have received numerous other endorsements from political leaders around the state and country despite the vote’s outcome. Since the last report Katie Hill lead in cash on hand donations with $382,848.25 while Caforio had $377,203.39 and Phoenix reported $110,187.58.

38th Assembly District

In the 38th Assembly District race, Newhall School District board member Christy Smith has received the party’s full support of endorsement against Dante Acosta, R-Santa Clarita, whom Smith ran against in 2016.

“We are a party that values working families, young people, seniors, immigrants, women and those without a voice,” Smith said in a news release. “ I look forward to having the Democratic Party’s support as we head towards the June primary election.”

Acosta defeated Smith in 2016 by a margin of 53 percent to 47 percent, but Smith hopes to change those numbers come this November saying in a statement given to The Signal that her intent is to reach every voter and find out what she can do that is best for everyone in the community.

36th Assembly District

For the 36h Assembly District Both Steve Fox and Jonathan Ervin has expressed interest in running against incumbent Tom Lackey, according to filing reports on

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