The influential Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association’s PAC has endorsed the candidate of Phil Paule in the 67th Assembly District in Riverside County, and Sherry Hodges in the 76th Assembly District in San Diego County.
I spoke with HJTA President Jon Coupal who told me, “”We believe that now is a critical time to send strong taxpayer advocates to Sacramento, who will provide leadership in the legislature against raising taxes — we feel that in the 67th Assembly District that person is Phil Paule and in the 76th Assembly District it is Sherry Hodges. HJTA PAC is pleased to endorse them both.”
For a Republican candidate, the HTJA endorsement is the “gold standard” in terms of credibility with the voters. From survey’s that I have read, to Republican voters the HJTA name tests higher than the actual Republican Party. But it also does very well with Democrat voters, especially seniors.
These endorsements are politically interesting because in both of these Assembly Districts, which are “safe Republican” seats, no Democrats filed, and so the runoff races are between two Republicans. In the 67th Paule is running off against Melissa Melendez, and in the 76th Hodges faces Rocky Chavez.
In both of these seats, the pathway to victory for the winning candidate will have to prongs to it. The first will be who can attract those voters who cast a ballot in June for a Republican candidate who did not make the runoff. The second will be how to capture the votes of Democrats (and liberal-leaning DTSers) who will cast a vote for President Obama, Senator Feinstein, but have no Democrat to vote for in the State Assembly race.
There is no doubt that with the kinds of funds that both Paule and Hodges are raising that they will be able to share this endorsement with general election voters.
There will be many factors that effect the ultimate outcome of these two Assembly races, but HJTA’s relative controversial weighing into these Rep-on-Rep races is a big advantage for Paule and Hodges.