Michael Cruz: Keeping in focus

The candidates Jess Phoenix, Bryan Caforio and Katie Hill on April 28. Photo by Bruce McFarland | Looking Good Photography
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There’s an old saying “Keep your eye on the prize.” As we approach the June Primary Election, this phrase has more meaning to me than it has for a very long time.

I recently attended the 25th Congressional Debate sponsored by the Talk of Santa Clarita and moderated by Stephen Daniels. It was lively, informative and presented an opportunity for those in the audience and live streaming it to get a real sense of each candidate.

The goal of the Democratic Party in 2018 is take back control of the House of Representatives, the United States Senate and to win as many state legislative and gubernatorial races as possible. The 25th congressional district has long been considered a safe seat for the GOP, but since 2012 when former candidate Lee Rogers came within 10 percent of defeating Buck McKeon, the 25th has been more competitive.

Prior to Dr. Rogers’ campaign it was fairly common for former Congressman McKeon to win by 30 plus percentage points. In the most recent congressional election Congressman Knight won by only 7 points.

After the 2016 election results, the Women’s March inspired more women to seek public office. The Trump administration’s dismissal of science has inspired scientists to run for public office as well. Also, Democrats have energized, organized and have started to contest safe Republican seats. Since the beginning of 2017, the Democratic candidates in partisan elections throughout our country have vastly over performed by as much as 20 percent. Which brings me back to our local congressional race, we have three great Democratic candidates seeking The Democratic Party’s nomination.

All three candidates are Democrats because they believe in the values that the Democratic Party stands for. Unfortunately, what happens during a primary race (regardless of political party) is that candidates and their most ardent supporters focus on what little divides them.

After Saturday’s debate, a person went on social media and wrote a note thanking Stephen Daniels for organizing it. This complimentary post suddenly turned into disagreements amongst some of the candidates’ most ardent supporters. During the debate, one of the questions asked was: If you didn’t win the primary would you support your opponent? All three answered yes.

I don’t know who’s going to win the Democratic Party’s nomination in the upcoming primary election and run against Congressman Knight in November, but I do know that if you’ve been an active supporter of any of the candidates and your candidate doesn’t win, you can’t give up!

All of your hard work, time and dedication will be for naught. Every supporter who has volunteered, donated or otherwise participated in a candidate’s campaign wants change. We all need to work together to win the 25th congressional seat. I’m asking that all three candidates meet after the June primary election and not just re-affirm their pledge to support our party’s nominee, but more importantly to stay engaged and pledge to do everything in their power to encourage their supporters to stay involved, engaged and do all that they can to help our party’s nominee win in November.

Michael Cruz is a
Canyon Country resident

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