This afternoon I attended a gathering at the Tulare County Democratic Party’s office in Visalia.  The event was hosted by Otto Lee, who ran against Devin Nunes for the office of Congressional Representative for the 22nd District of California.  Nunes won, but Otto made a respectable showing, even with Nunes refusing all offers to debate or appear together to discuss issues.

I spent two hours at the event, meeting a few people, talking with Otto and others, and came away hopeful for the future.  In a very red area, there’s real potential for putting a bluer hue on the picture.  The future may surprise Nunes, especially if he continues to discount competition for his seat.  Nothing in politics is guaranteed, and taking your constituents for granted is never wise.  Next election, Nunes will have been in office for 12 years, and his district has next to nothing to show for it.  It’s still one of the poorest in California, with some of the highest unemployment, and that has not changed during his tenure.

I don’t know if Otto Lee will run again in two years, but I hope he does.  This district could use new ideas, and a fresh perspective.  Sometimes, it’s possible to be to close to a problem to see a solution, and having the viewpoint of someone new to the area might just be the fresh air we need.  Regardless of whether the next election sees Otto run again, or some other Democrat steps up, the demographics of the region are rapidly changing, and the GOP has been doing everything in it’s power to run from the very groups that will dominate the future.  If they don’t change, their party faces a future of marginalization and irrelevance.

Otto Lee 2014!  😉

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