January 24, 2012 archive

CA-Sen: Santa Monica Republican Businessman Al Ramirez to Challenge Senator Dianne Feinstein


Another challenger, Santa Monica businessman Al Ramirez, has emerged to challenge long time incumbent California U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Another  Republican has joined the short list of mostly little-known people willing to take on Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) this  year.

Telecommunications professional Al Ramirez of Santa Monica, 43, announced on Tuesday he’s running and wants to be “California’s first Hispanic U.S. senator.”

Ramirez, who said he’s spent some 20 years in sales and network development, ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in 2010. That was the year that Republican nominee Carly Fiorina lost to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

This time he believes his prospects are better, in part because he has more political experience and “better relationships” with state Republican Party leaders, Ramirez said.  He also cited Feinstein’s low approval rating in a recent Field Poll.

Another  announced candidate to challenge the 78-year-old Feinstein are autistic children’s advocate Elizabeth Emken of Danville, who ran unsuccessfully for the  GOP’s nomination  in a 2010 congressional race.

This race is a long-shot for Al, but he is a good guy with whom I have talked.

I wish him luck.

Senator Feinstein is very popular and should have any easy time in her re-election bid.


AD-38: Scott Wilk Releases California State Senator Tony Strickland from Endorsement


Santa Clarita Community College Trustee Scott Wilk

This is an interesting development and I have to say I have never seen this before – a candidate for office releasing a POL from his endorsement.

On the heels of his announcement to run for Congress, state Sen. Tony Strickland is no longer endorsing Scott Wilk in his bid for the state’s 38th Assembly District seat, Wilk confirmed Monday.

“Tony Strickland gave me the option of releasing him from his endorsement,” Wilk said. “He told me I could keep the endorsement but gave me the option of releasing him … and I’m going to release him.”

Strickland, who announced his candidacy in the 26th Congressional District election last week, would not comment on the endorsement issue.

“Senator Strickland doesn’t have a comment about that at this time,” said his spokeswoman, Sarah Walsh, when asked if he still endorses Wilk.

I have known Scott Wilk for a long time. Wilk has worked with Tony Strickland a LONG time as well and I recall Scott’s son helping Tony to the extreme during his last campaign, where he beat Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson by a very slim majority (primarily from the Santa Clarita area).

But, there is this piece which sort of explains it.

It is called political pressure by a sitting Congressman, Buck McKeon for his wife, Patricia, who just so happens to be running against Scott Wilk.

I first met Patricia McKeon at Tony Strickland’s announcement for Congress. Here is a photo of her with Simi Valley Republican activist Steve Frank.

Contested primary elections are HARDBALL enough with an open (no incumbent) Santa Clarita based California Assembly seat, but throw this into a top two system change and you have some interesting permutations come June.

Tony Strickland, seems to have them calculated.

Now, will Strickland endorse McKeon?