Democratic Assemblyman Maienschein Faces A Challenger From His Former Party
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Credit: Associated Press / Rich Pedroncelli
Some Republicans blasted California Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, who represents the 77th district, in 2019 for deserting their party and becoming a Democrat.
Voters get to weigh in for the first time during the March primary on whether they think the party switch was a good move.
Maienschein abandoned the Republican Party early last year. At the time, he said the Democratic platform was more aligned with his values. Maienschein followed up by backing a bill that toughens the rules on when police can use force.
Republican challenger and lawyer June Cutter says Maienschein’s failure to oppose that bill is one reason she entered the race.
Mesa College political science professor Carl Luna said short of slinging mud, Cutter faces an uphill struggle in trying to unseat Maienschein.
“You know there’s no race you can’t lose with enough money on negative advertising so you know something like `Brian Maienschein loves criminals,’ if you put a lot of money into it, you might be able to pull that off” Luna said.
Democrats narrowly outnumber Republicans in the 77th Assembly District. As of October, there were 98,751 Democrats compared to 89,084 Republicans.
Luna doesn’t believe non-Democratic voters will abandon Maienschein.
“He’s already won independent voters and some of the Republicans he left behind are still going to stay with him because they know him,” he said.
Luna said Maienschein — first elected to the assembly in 2012 — has another key advantage over Cutter in the 77th Assembly District, which includes Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch, Poway and some areas in San Diego.
“He’s got all the personal community connections,” Luna said. ‘She’s trying to build a reputation from the ground up in a short period of time.”
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