Cal Berkeley Democrats endorses Delaine Eastin for California governor, Kevin de León for US Senate


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Cal Berkeley Democrats announced its endorsement of Delaine Eastin for the 2018 California governor race via Facebook on Tuesday.

In the Facebook post, Cal Dems said it decided to endorse Eastin because her progressive values were similar to its own. The endorsement comes three weeks after Eastin spoke about her campaign at UC Berkeley, after being invited by Cal Dems. Caiden Nason, president of Cal Dems, said Eastin’s views on education, money allotment and the prison system in California, as well as her clarity and straightforwardness, were reasons for Cal Dems’ endorsement.

“We’ve established a culture about what we believe in, and if someone can go in and talk with us about what we think matters, they get our vote,” Nason said.

Jennifer Rindahl, Eastin’s campaign manager, said Eastin is “honored and thrilled” to have received Cal Dems’ endorsement. She added that this endorsement reflects Eastin’s investment in the lives and futures of Californian students.

Eastin’s campaign platforms include free preschool and less-costly higher education, according to Rindahl. She also endorses a universal health care state bill, as well as preparation for climate change weather events. Rindahl said that because of the large income disparities in California, Eastin believes that the state needs more affordable housing and stronger renters’ rights.

“I think that young people, college-level people, should care because this election affects their future,” Rindahl said. “Especially those who want to make California their home after they graduate — they should pay attention to the races.”

Cal Dems’ endorsement of Eastin comes earlier than usual in the election cycle. Nason said California Young Democrats is holding a retreat this weekend, where college democratic groups will be voting on endorsements. He added that this early endorsement will allow Cal Dems to present a united front.

In addition to Eastin, Cal Dems has also endorsed Kevin de León for U.S. Senate.

According to Nason, Cal Dems endorsed de León because it believes he’s the more-progressive candidate running for senate. Nason said that because de León is president pro tempore of the California State Senate, he is leading the most progressive legislature in the country and taking a hands-on approach to student policies.

Roger Salazar, spokesperson for de León’s campaign, said the senator is proud to have Cal Dems’ endorsement for the U.S. senate race and that having the future of the party behind him is a “boost.”

“When (de León) announced he was running for senate, (he) knew that California is different from when Feinstein ran 20 years ago,” Salazar said. “De León has the progressive track record that Californians want to see in Washington.”

Rindahl said she hopes that other young democratic organizations across California are inspired by Cal Dems’ endorsement and join the campaign.

“Delaine gives this metaphor,” Rindahl said. “If I give you 20 pencils (one) at a time, most people can break 20 pencils. However, even the strongest person can’t break 20 pencils all together. We are going to be our 20 pencils all together fighting for California.”

Membership and involvement in Cal Dems has spiked this year, according to Nason, after the results of last year’s election “definitely sort of shook us up.” Nason said Cal Dems is focusing on raising money to travel and build relationships across the state to make an impact.

Nason also said the early endorsement allows for Cal Dems to get more involved in Eastin’s campaign. He added that her campaign will give Cal Dems more freedom to work on political strategies and reach out to voters.

“We didn’t make an endorsement for the presidential race because it was so contentious,” Nason said. “We care more about if a person will represent our interests. We think Delaine would do better.”

Contact Mary Kelly Ford at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @MaryKellyFord1.

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  • California Defender

    So the Berkeley Dems have endorsed two wealthy elitist Democrats. Eastin even has a chateau in Sonoma. And humorously, “De León” changed his name two years ago from Kevin Alexander Leon to Kevin de León with an invented accent to sound more Hispanic. He said in a SacBee article a few months ago:

    “De León gave me that sense that I belonged to something, to somebody – even though at the end of the day I didn’t.”

    Good lord, how gullible are Democrat voters? They are so clearly being exploited to maintain the establishment. How do they not see it?

    • SecludedCompoundTTYS

      CA has the 8th largest GDP, if it was a country, yet the Dems still can’t balance the budget and run a Billion plus deficit each year. They lack introspection. I’m guessing it has to do with their values, I guess…

      Edit: I just read an article stating that when I say what I said above it is racist because I really mean black democrats in office (when I dont). They will move the goalpost no matter what happens. Truly amazing how the extremes of both sides are.

      Interesting article:

  • Grandpa Dino

    Dang, all that free stuff is going cost a lot of money!

  • Napoleon

    Why don’t you just say the candidates you endorse reflect the Communist ideal?
    Isn’t that the goal, to make a better California, representative of Marxist ideals, and a model for the world?

    • At the very least, de Leon has no grasp of the concept of constitutionality.

    • California Defender

      Two days ago, the Daily Californian displayed a big front page ad for the “Revolutionary Communist Party, USA” and a link to speeches by their Dear Leader, Bob Avakian.

      So why are they still supporting the Democratic Party? That oppressive establishment operated by the wealthy gated-community elite of San Francisco?

      If the DC had an ounce of honesty, they would endorse Avakian and have the intestinal fortitude to say that they are the media outlet of the “Revolutionary Communist Party, USA”.