It's Time To:

Flip the West

An Open Letter to California Democrats Running for Congress in Races with Multiple Serious Republican Candidates

Dear Candidates,

At Code Blue and Flip the 14, two Resistance organizations committed to helping Democrats take back Congress, we know it takes a strong and determined spirit to run for Congress. Campaigning isn’t for the faint of heart, and the drive to serve is enviable.

Candidates put in long hours meeting voters, running a campaign, and raising the resources necessary to compete. It's hard work, and we salute everyone who puts their hat in the ring.

Our organizations, active in all 14 congressional districts currently represented by a Republican in Congress, are explicitly candidate neutral. We have not used our organizations, our resources, or our network of allies in the Resistance to tip the scales in anyone’s direction. Our focus is uniting behind every Democrat that advances to the general election and doing what we can to help them become victorious in November.

However, in multiple districts, we are concerned that a Democrat won’t even advance to the general election because of California’s top two primary.

In districts where multiple Democrats are competing against a smaller number of viable Republicans, it is very possible that Democrats overall may outperform Republicans, but the top two vote getters advancing to the general election will both be Republicans. This would take defeat from the jaws of victory and make it that much more difficult for Democrats to take back the House of Representatives.

This is a crucial moment for our Republic. Our values and our democratic norms are under attack by threats foreign and domestic. Republicans in Congress have proven that they are unwilling to rein in Donald Trump’s erratic and dangerous impulses. And they continue to ignore our needs while padding the pockets of the super rich and big corporations. If we don’t restore checks and balances in 2018, it only gets much worse from here.

We need to compete in every district in California to create the biggest possible Democratic majority in Congress, and that won’t happen in districts where two Republicans advance.

We urge every candidate running in one of these districts to think long and hard about their role in the election. Assess benchmarks like grassroots support, volunteer base, fundraising capacity, internal and public polling, and the likelihood that their candidacy will play the role of a spoiler.

We know this is a difficult decision to make, especially for a candidate who has already come this far. Just know, when the stakes are this high, selfless leadership for the good of the party and the good of the nation will be remembered, celebrated, and rewarded. We know we speak for thousands of activists when we say: the grassroots coalitions in California’s competitive districts are looking for candidates for the future - we will remember those Democrats who have sacrificed this year.

Brian Colker, California Director, Code Blue
Doug Linney, Co-Founder and Campaign Manager, Flip the 14