Anthony Adams is the sole independent in the primary for the newly drawn 8th U.S. Congressional District of California. It spreads from Mono Lake in the north to below San Bernardino in the south. There are thirteen candidates – ten Republicans, two Democrats, and Adams, a former Republican who served in the State Assembly from 2006-2010. He survived a bruising recall attempt in 2009 after he voted with Democrats to raise taxes and break the budget deadlock and is rather understandably is an independent.
“I believe the citizens of this District are fed up with the partisan bickering that has deadlocked Congress…Democratic and Republican extremists are putting their party ahead of our country,” says Adams. “I believe there is a better way.”
The 8th Congressional District is 42% registered Republicans, 33% Democrats, and 19% with no party preference. This would normally to give Republicans an edge except there are so many of them running. Underestimating the strategic realities of an open primary, the Republican vote could easily be splintered in the district. Three Republicans claim to be Tea Party and could further fracture the vote. In fact, the Republican field is so full, and so quarrelsome, that the party could not decide who to endorse and thus has endorsed no one.
“You know that cartoon where there is the big dust cloud, and all you see is arms and feet? It’s like that,” said UC Riverside political scientist Shaun Bowler.
The district has considerable mountains and deserts. People who live in such areas often tend to believe that small government is better and that the federal government can be overly intrusive.
“Out here, everyone has a gun, a dog and a pickup. Even the Democrats,” says Democratic candidate John Pinkerton.
Republican candidate Don Imus is a co-founder of the border patrol Minutemen group and another Republican, Phil Liberatore, is an anti-tax crusader. San Bernardino County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt and Assemblyman Paul Cook from Yucca Valley are also running as Republicans.
The race comes down to independent Anthony Adams vs. five or six Republicans. The Democrats don’t appear to be mounting much of a race making it certainly possible former Republican Anthony Adams running as an independent will advance and face a Republican in November.
Editor’s Note: Stay with IVN throughout the day for updates and election analysis.