California will have a more ‘liberal’ congressional race


CC BY S.A. 3.0/Michael Worley

For the past 22 years, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has overcome the opposition who wanted to replace her in Congress. Stephen Jaffe will be her next challenger in the 2018 congressional race.

Justin Som, Staff Writer

Ever heard of the phrase, “California’s where all the liberals are?”

The man planning to take former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional seat, Stephen Jaffe, hasn’t.

Jaffe, who announced his campaign in late April, believes that California representatives in the House need to be more “liberal.” He thinks California lawmakers can start by following the policies of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign.

To spur support for his efforts, Jaffe has upheld many of Sanders’s ideals: restrain U.S. military adventures, pass single payer health care, increase integrity in court systems, and end “dirty energy subsidies and corporate money.”

“Why is this happening? It is happening because Ms. Pelosi is the embodiment of the entrenched corporate Democratic Establishment,” tweeted Jaffe on May 7.

“If Jaffe has the same charisma and call to action that Bernie had, there is a chance for him to [take the seat],” said Haley Masters, a junior and the president of Junior States of America. “People who supported Bernie’s policies will probably support Jaffe if his policies are the same. But it largely depends on whether or not he will have the same energy as Bernie did.”

The rise of Jaffe as a potential replacement for Pelosi serves as a testament to the newly-formed divisions amongst the Democratic Party. Although the majority of Democrats favored Hillary Clinton’s ideals, there are some who are more attracted to the ideology of Sanders for its strong policy on reform and favoritism towards the middle class.

“Bernie showed us we can do this as a movement,” cites Jaffe on his campaign page. “It’s a big challenge to take on the House Democratic Leader and I’m humbled by the support I’ve received across the country.”

Jaffe would have to first displace Pelosi before he can meet up on his campaign promises. Whereas Jaffe has been an attorney for employee rights, and an “anti-dark money activist,” Pelosi has held political office and been a figurehead for Democrats for the past 29 years.

“Personally, I am more conservative, but I can see why people would support [Jaffe],” said Blake Thomas, a junior. “Given the times that we are currently in, it would make sense as to why people would choose a [more liberal candidate] in response to how things are changing. Their choices will be prompted by what the White House does in the future.”

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