Yes it's true that Jim Gilchrist is thinking seriously about running against Loretta Sanchez. H/T for Jubal of Red County
for posting about this first. I first heard about this three weekends ago while I was helping man a Ron Paul booth at the Gun Show over at the OC Fairgrounds. I spoke with Jim personally while he was manning a Minuteman booth at the same show. We hadn't spoke for awhile, so I just wanted to catch up with him to see how he's been. After the 48th CD special election, we went our separate ways.
He dropped the bombshell on me that he was thinking of running against Loretta Sanchez for Congress. My first thought was...disbelief and then I was asking myself of the why. I'm the first person to say we need a new Congressman from the 47th CD, but Jim Gilchrist is not the first person that comes to mind when one is thinking of viable candidates for this district. I was thinking that I had heard that Van Tran was angling for this seat when he is termed out, but that isn't until 2010. In the meantime, the GOP has to field a candidate in 2008 to run against Loretta. I know one thing for sure. You can't win unless you're in the game. So in that respect, I'm all for him running if he's up to it.
I also knew that Quang X Pham has expressed an interest in running for this seat in the past. In fact I spoke with Quang last week and he says he is also seriously thinking about his own bid. Neither of them live in the district. All the sudden it looks like a free for all for the GOP nomination here. At first glance Quang strikes me as a more legitimate contender for this seat should he get the nomination. He obviously fits the district better because of his amazing life story immigrating from Vietnam and then becoming one of the first Vietnamese-Americans helicopter pilots in our Armed Forces. The district is overwhelmingly ethic Vietnamese and Hispanic with a sprinkling of
whites like me mixed in.
That's my take so far on this story. There will be more to come.
I wanted to add some more background on this possible match up. I had mentioned to Jim that he should hire a consultant with local experience here in OC instead of bringing in some over rated hired gun from out state to bleed him dry like what happened in the 48 CD race a few years ago. He agrees. Some local guys he should think about hiring IMO would be guys like Saulo Londono, Barrett Tetlow, et al. These guys know this district because they came up through Van's farm system to coin a sports phrase and they are burgeoning political consultants in their own right. Jim mentioned that he also asked Jim Lacy to be his Treasurer.
I also counseled him that it would be a good idea to get some feedback from Assemblyman Van Tran and his organization. As much as it pains Van's political adversaries, he has built up quite an impressive organization in Central OC that would be crucial if Jim were to have any success running in the 47th. Van called me up yesterday to tell me that he would be the first one to congratulate Jim if he wins. Van said that he doesn't think anyone is "entitled" to a Congressional seat. A lot of people have the perception that the party has cleared the field for him when he may run in 2010. In the meantime though, we still need to compete against Loretta and you can't win by not being on the ballot. We agreed that next year is probably going to be a tough year for Republicans, so Jim has a steep uphill battle ahead of him.
Lastly, as I noted in a comment below, I think Jim's endorsement of Mike Huckabee is disastrous. Huckabee is George Bush 2.0 on immigration. I haven't spoken to him about this, but it's weird because just last week Jim was asking my opinion of who I think he should endorse for President. I told him that IMO, Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter are arguably the strongest on immigration, but they have no chance of winning. I told him he should seriously think about Ron Paul because at least he has a small chance of pulling out a victory and he is the strongest GOP candidate with a chance to win on immigration. I told him that Huckabee and McCain were the worst on immigration and he said he would call his good friend Congressman Steve King of Iowa for his opinion. My only guess is that Steve King may be endorsing Huckabee and Jim went along with him. IMO though, this endorsement is a slap in the face to everyone who has ever supported Jim and this issue.