San Diego, Calif.- As we wait for the final ballot count to determine the 77th Assembly district race, there are still about 20,000 votes remaining, Republican incumbent Brian Maienschein, who leads Democrat candidate Sunday Gover by 757 votes, was the recipient of some rare kudos from a Democrat.
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Gonzalez Goes To Bat For Maienschein
Even though California Democrats enjoy a supermajority in the state, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez spoke highly of Maienschein and the working relationship the two have.
In a recent podcast on Voice of San Diego, Gonzalez noted, "I think Sunday is a fine woman and a fine individual who would make a great legislator, but the reality is this, I have a good friendship with Brian Maienschein. And when I needed somebody who will listen to my argument and, and possibly cross the line and make a really tough vote, I knew I could go to Brian,” Gonzalez said.
When Gonzalez was asked if it would be uncomfortable if Gover wins the seat, she responded “Well, look, I don’t think so, but I’ve seen a lot of Democrats who come in to take Republican seats. We’ve seen this happen a lot in my tenure and they, they’re very, they’re afraid of those tough votes. A lot of times we’re struggling to get to 41 on tough economic issues because Democrats who feel like they’re in a vulnerable position can’t go up on it.”
Maienschein the Independent
Assemblyman Maienschein is rated as one of the most independent, moderate Republicans serving the state.
The Republican Maienschein has 100% approval marks from Planned Parenthood, 100% from PawPAC – California’s Committee For Animals, “No Legislator has done more for the protection of animals than Brian Maienschein,” and 100% from Equality California.
As CALmatters’ Dan Walters told IVN San Diego, “Brian has been a terrific moderate, has been willing and demonstrated his ability to go across the aisle and get things done for his constituents."
Mods Will Be Important Factor
The State Assembly's next legislative session begins Jan. 7. And while it's expected to be a progressive agenda, there is discussion about the importance of reaching across the aisle to more moderate Democrats and Republicans to ensure a legislative balance.
Sacramento has a number of caucuses which have different agendas that will need to be respected and included, this was highlighted in a recent IVN article.
One Republican political consultant Mike Madrid noted, "Just because it’s a one-party state doesn’t mean it gets easier. In many ways it will be more difficult. Personal agendas and personalities will play a bigger role."
Reaching across the aisle, as Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez noted, will arguably be more important than ever to prevent party gridlock in Sacramento.