Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

California Democrat Endorses Republican Opponent

Rogers backed one of his former Republican opponents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With two Republicans advancing to the general in California’s 25th District open-seat race, the losing Democrat conceded the race on Wednesday and backed one of his two former GOP opponents.

Podiatric surgeon Lee Rogers, the top Democrat in the race, finished third behind two Republicans, former state Sen. Tony Strickland and state Sen. Steve Knight. In a Wednesday morning statement, Rogers recommended Democrats in the district back Knight — a rare endorsement from a member of an opposing party.

Rogers called Knight “an honest man with integrity” before going on to take jabs at Strickland.

“To the contrary, Tony Strickland is a politician in search of a district,” Rogers continued. “Recommending a Republican for Congress may not sit well with some in my party, but I didn’t create the rules and I care too much about our district to let it fall to a dishonest carpetbagger who is interested only in himself, like Tony Strickland.”

California’s 25th District has a slight Republican lean. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried it by a slim 2-point margin in 2012, though it would likely lean more Republican in a midterm year. It’s open this cycle because of GOP Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon’s retirement.

Now, Democrats in the district interested in voting will have no choice but to support a Republican.

“Both Tony Strickland and Steve Knight are conservatives and wouldn’t represent the views of district Democrats at all in Washington,” Rogers said. “But Democrats will have to choose between two Republicans, or leave the office blank. My recommendation for Democrats is to cast your vote for Steve Knight in November.”

The race is now rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

  • Layla

    Good job, America. Send them ALL HOME.

  • PortageMain

    What’s going on with CA Democrats? This is the 2nd time in 2 cycles they have handed a competitive district to Republicans by not having a candidate qualify in the primary for the general election

  • Ryan

    He’s right about Tony Strickland. I should know – he was running in my district in 2012.

  • Zornorph

    Strickland. Jesus, didn’t that guy ever have hair?

  • Torr Visi

    In this YouTube video we find the Navy-Yard shooter – a liberal and Hussein Obama supporter named Aaron Alexis – arriving at the Navy Yard in his Prius:

  • Cal Ven

    The liberal Democrat is endorsing a liberal RIno probably.

  • Zachary Goldberg


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