Republicans Wave the White Flag of Surrender in the 5th Senate District

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This was supposed to be one of the few contested Senate Races in the State of California. It pitted two sitting Assemblymembers–Lois Wolk from Davis versus Greg Aghazarian the Republican from Stockton.

Four years ago, this race went down to the wire. It was a hotly contested and bitter affair. Incumbent Mike Machado ended up prevailing and holding onto his seat by a somewhat deceptively wide margin.

However, things have changed in four years. The landscape is vastly different as is the district. Democrats now hold a 15-point advantage in this seat. And unlike 2004 which ended up being a narrowly Republican year, this year may be unlike any we’ve seen since 1974 or 1964. By the end of this year, even 2006 which saw the Democrats retake both houses of Congress may look tame by comparison.

It was under those terms that Greg Aghazarian ran trying to be the independent or maverick Republican. The only problem is that Greg Aghazarian is neither of those and people are tired of listening to Republicans tell them how different they are as they vote for more of the same.

According to internal polls, with less than a week to go, Lois Wolk is up by around 20 points. Given the relatively low profile of this race, the partisan breakdown of this district, and the overall political landscape, this one is over.

The California Majority Report yesterday reported that the Republicans have pulled their money out of this district and pulled the plug on future ads for Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian.

Democrats are now focusing on shoring up other districts and have put huge amounts of money into two key races. One is the 19th Senate District where former Assemblymember Hannah-Beth Jackson is locked in a baton-death march against conservative Tony Strickland who is trying to convince voters in Santa Barbara that he is green by featuring ads with PG&E killer Erin Brockowich.

Interestingly enough the California Majority Report also mentioned that Democrats are pumping money into the 30th Assembly District where Shafter Mayor Fran Florez faces Republican Danny Gilmore. That is a race of interest because not only is it Democratic pariah Nicole Parra’s seat, not only is Parra supporting the Republican, but the Democrat is the son of Senator Dean Florez, a highly ranking member of the Senate and a candidate for Lt. Governor in 2010.

Politicker however reports that spokepeople for both the Aghazarian campaign and the Wolk campaign are still doing battle. Tom Haggins of the Wolk campaign suggests he expects the Aghazarian campaign which still have significant money and resources in their own right will go negative in the last two weeks. Meanwhile the spokesperson for the Aghazarian campaign said they have more money and their ads will continue to run.

What do you expect from the campaigns–they can’t take anything for granted. Yesterday, the Davis Enterprise reported that Assembly candidate Mariko Yamada, who is running for the safe 8th AD is saying the same thing.

“I’m taking the general election as seriously as I did the primary… I don’t want to take anything for granted.”

Rhetoric aside, the 8th AD is a safe Democratic seat and the 5th SD is not far behind it. The battlegrounds have shifted. Look no further than on the national scene. Democrats are doing battle with Republicans in red states for the Presidency and Senate seats.

In California, the hottest contested races are places like the 4th Congressional District, one of the most heavily Republican districts in the state which just may go Democrat and some polls even show that Bill Durston is in the game against Dan Lungren for the 3rd Congressional District.

The only question at this point is how good a year will it be for the Democrats.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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52 thoughts on “Republicans Wave the White Flag of Surrender in the 5th Senate District”

  1. Davis Renter

    I don’t mean to be hyper critical, but I am not familiar with “baton-death march”. Did you mean “Bataan Death March”, and is that really a proper use of that war crime in an analogy?

    It IS interesting how many Republicans are dodging their party by claiming to be “independent” this election. However, I won’t be voting for Wolk either. Apparently she thinks I want to hear how often she agrees with the Governator. I’m glad she pointed that out. I’ll write some one in.

  2. Davis Renter

    I don’t mean to be hyper critical, but I am not familiar with “baton-death march”. Did you mean “Bataan Death March”, and is that really a proper use of that war crime in an analogy?

    It IS interesting how many Republicans are dodging their party by claiming to be “independent” this election. However, I won’t be voting for Wolk either. Apparently she thinks I want to hear how often she agrees with the Governator. I’m glad she pointed that out. I’ll write some one in.

  3. Davis Renter

    I don’t mean to be hyper critical, but I am not familiar with “baton-death march”. Did you mean “Bataan Death March”, and is that really a proper use of that war crime in an analogy?

    It IS interesting how many Republicans are dodging their party by claiming to be “independent” this election. However, I won’t be voting for Wolk either. Apparently she thinks I want to hear how often she agrees with the Governator. I’m glad she pointed that out. I’ll write some one in.

  4. Davis Renter

    I don’t mean to be hyper critical, but I am not familiar with “baton-death march”. Did you mean “Bataan Death March”, and is that really a proper use of that war crime in an analogy?

    It IS interesting how many Republicans are dodging their party by claiming to be “independent” this election. However, I won’t be voting for Wolk either. Apparently she thinks I want to hear how often she agrees with the Governator. I’m glad she pointed that out. I’ll write some one in.

  5. Anonymous

    It is interesting that the author of this blog was pushing hard last year for the candidacy of a total nobody instead of Lois Wolk, because the author reported with conviction that Lois would probably not win votes in what the author called the conservative southern part of this district. The main qualification the nobody had was that his dad was a famous elected official and had the same name. Seems like the prognostication skills of the author were not so great.

    “While it is true that the district has around a 12 percent registration advantage for Democrats, many of those are more conservative valley Democrats rather than the more liberal Democrats of Yolo County and particularly Davis.”

    “Greg Aghazarian is a sitting Assemblyman who will have the full backing from the State Republican Party because this is one of the few seats that are in play—especially with no incumbent in the race and possibly two legislators squaring off. This will be a hard fought battle for the Democrats to hold this seat.”

    “However, before we get to November 2008, we might want to look at June of 2008. Because there is a formidable opponent awaiting Wolk for the Democratic Nomination. That is current UC Merced Vice-Chancellor John Garamendi, Jr. His father is currently the Lt. Governor of the State of California. Garamendi, Jr. has strong ties to Davis and Yolo County as well. His father represented the area when he was State Senator. And Garamendi, Jr. has resided in Davis himself.”

    “Garamendi has let it be known that he will be a candidate and he will announce sometime early this summer. In the meantime, it appears that unions and other interests are quietly lining up behind him.”

  6. Anonymous

    It is interesting that the author of this blog was pushing hard last year for the candidacy of a total nobody instead of Lois Wolk, because the author reported with conviction that Lois would probably not win votes in what the author called the conservative southern part of this district. The main qualification the nobody had was that his dad was a famous elected official and had the same name. Seems like the prognostication skills of the author were not so great.

    “While it is true that the district has around a 12 percent registration advantage for Democrats, many of those are more conservative valley Democrats rather than the more liberal Democrats of Yolo County and particularly Davis.”

    “Greg Aghazarian is a sitting Assemblyman who will have the full backing from the State Republican Party because this is one of the few seats that are in play—especially with no incumbent in the race and possibly two legislators squaring off. This will be a hard fought battle for the Democrats to hold this seat.”

    “However, before we get to November 2008, we might want to look at June of 2008. Because there is a formidable opponent awaiting Wolk for the Democratic Nomination. That is current UC Merced Vice-Chancellor John Garamendi, Jr. His father is currently the Lt. Governor of the State of California. Garamendi, Jr. has strong ties to Davis and Yolo County as well. His father represented the area when he was State Senator. And Garamendi, Jr. has resided in Davis himself.”

    “Garamendi has let it be known that he will be a candidate and he will announce sometime early this summer. In the meantime, it appears that unions and other interests are quietly lining up behind him.”

  7. Anonymous

    It is interesting that the author of this blog was pushing hard last year for the candidacy of a total nobody instead of Lois Wolk, because the author reported with conviction that Lois would probably not win votes in what the author called the conservative southern part of this district. The main qualification the nobody had was that his dad was a famous elected official and had the same name. Seems like the prognostication skills of the author were not so great.

    “While it is true that the district has around a 12 percent registration advantage for Democrats, many of those are more conservative valley Democrats rather than the more liberal Democrats of Yolo County and particularly Davis.”

    “Greg Aghazarian is a sitting Assemblyman who will have the full backing from the State Republican Party because this is one of the few seats that are in play—especially with no incumbent in the race and possibly two legislators squaring off. This will be a hard fought battle for the Democrats to hold this seat.”

    “However, before we get to November 2008, we might want to look at June of 2008. Because there is a formidable opponent awaiting Wolk for the Democratic Nomination. That is current UC Merced Vice-Chancellor John Garamendi, Jr. His father is currently the Lt. Governor of the State of California. Garamendi, Jr. has strong ties to Davis and Yolo County as well. His father represented the area when he was State Senator. And Garamendi, Jr. has resided in Davis himself.”

    “Garamendi has let it be known that he will be a candidate and he will announce sometime early this summer. In the meantime, it appears that unions and other interests are quietly lining up behind him.”

  8. Anonymous

    It is interesting that the author of this blog was pushing hard last year for the candidacy of a total nobody instead of Lois Wolk, because the author reported with conviction that Lois would probably not win votes in what the author called the conservative southern part of this district. The main qualification the nobody had was that his dad was a famous elected official and had the same name. Seems like the prognostication skills of the author were not so great.

    “While it is true that the district has around a 12 percent registration advantage for Democrats, many of those are more conservative valley Democrats rather than the more liberal Democrats of Yolo County and particularly Davis.”

    “Greg Aghazarian is a sitting Assemblyman who will have the full backing from the State Republican Party because this is one of the few seats that are in play—especially with no incumbent in the race and possibly two legislators squaring off. This will be a hard fought battle for the Democrats to hold this seat.”

    “However, before we get to November 2008, we might want to look at June of 2008. Because there is a formidable opponent awaiting Wolk for the Democratic Nomination. That is current UC Merced Vice-Chancellor John Garamendi, Jr. His father is currently the Lt. Governor of the State of California. Garamendi, Jr. has strong ties to Davis and Yolo County as well. His father represented the area when he was State Senator. And Garamendi, Jr. has resided in Davis himself.”

    “Garamendi has let it be known that he will be a candidate and he will announce sometime early this summer. In the meantime, it appears that unions and other interests are quietly lining up behind him.”

  9. Democrat

    I don’t know why you find that so interesting, this is a heavily Democratic year and races that are normally tough are easy and seats that are normally safe are not.

  10. Democrat

    I don’t know why you find that so interesting, this is a heavily Democratic year and races that are normally tough are easy and seats that are normally safe are not.

  11. Democrat

    I don’t know why you find that so interesting, this is a heavily Democratic year and races that are normally tough are easy and seats that are normally safe are not.

  12. Democrat

    I don’t know why you find that so interesting, this is a heavily Democratic year and races that are normally tough are easy and seats that are normally safe are not.

  13. Democrat

    I still don’t get it. What’s the big deal–Wolk wasn’t his first choice, his first choice didn’t run. Why the need to pull up a post from over a year ago? Why was that such an important issue you remembered it from so far back?

  14. Democrat

    I still don’t get it. What’s the big deal–Wolk wasn’t his first choice, his first choice didn’t run. Why the need to pull up a post from over a year ago? Why was that such an important issue you remembered it from so far back?

  15. Democrat

    I still don’t get it. What’s the big deal–Wolk wasn’t his first choice, his first choice didn’t run. Why the need to pull up a post from over a year ago? Why was that such an important issue you remembered it from so far back?

  16. Democrat

    I still don’t get it. What’s the big deal–Wolk wasn’t his first choice, his first choice didn’t run. Why the need to pull up a post from over a year ago? Why was that such an important issue you remembered it from so far back?

  17. Anonymous

    “One is the 19th Senate District where former Assemblymember Hannah-Beth Jackson is locked in a baton-death march against conservative Tony Strickland.”

    It is not widely known, but Tony Strickland was a drum major in the USMC. Armed only with his decorative baton, Captain Strickland led his troops in a bloody battle, where many Marines died. Thus, Doug was correct to refer to it as Tony’s baton death march.

  18. Anonymous

    “One is the 19th Senate District where former Assemblymember Hannah-Beth Jackson is locked in a baton-death march against conservative Tony Strickland.”

    It is not widely known, but Tony Strickland was a drum major in the USMC. Armed only with his decorative baton, Captain Strickland led his troops in a bloody battle, where many Marines died. Thus, Doug was correct to refer to it as Tony’s baton death march.

  19. Anonymous

    “One is the 19th Senate District where former Assemblymember Hannah-Beth Jackson is locked in a baton-death march against conservative Tony Strickland.”

    It is not widely known, but Tony Strickland was a drum major in the USMC. Armed only with his decorative baton, Captain Strickland led his troops in a bloody battle, where many Marines died. Thus, Doug was correct to refer to it as Tony’s baton death march.

  20. Anonymous

    “One is the 19th Senate District where former Assemblymember Hannah-Beth Jackson is locked in a baton-death march against conservative Tony Strickland.”

    It is not widely known, but Tony Strickland was a drum major in the USMC. Armed only with his decorative baton, Captain Strickland led his troops in a bloody battle, where many Marines died. Thus, Doug was correct to refer to it as Tony’s baton death march.

  21. Thomas Randall, Jr

    5th State Senate Candidate Greg Aghazarian isn’t that well known here in Yolo County because he resides in San Jaoquin County but us Yolo County residents can get to know about better him better by visiting his campaigns website at:

    http://www.joingreg.com

    In addition other information can be obtained from the following source about Greg’s candidacy as well:

    YOLO COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY (YCRP)
    HEADQUARTERS (HQ)
    526 MAIN STREET
    WOODLAND CA 95695-3434

    Primary Contact Person: Mr. Steve Venables:

    Phone #: (530) 406-1400

    E-Mail: steve@wt.webmail.com

    Website: http://www.yologop.org

  22. Thomas Randall, Jr

    5th State Senate Candidate Greg Aghazarian isn’t that well known here in Yolo County because he resides in San Jaoquin County but us Yolo County residents can get to know about better him better by visiting his campaigns website at:

    http://www.joingreg.com

    In addition other information can be obtained from the following source about Greg’s candidacy as well:

    YOLO COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY (YCRP)
    HEADQUARTERS (HQ)
    526 MAIN STREET
    WOODLAND CA 95695-3434

    Primary Contact Person: Mr. Steve Venables:

    Phone #: (530) 406-1400

    E-Mail: steve@wt.webmail.com

    Website: http://www.yologop.org

  23. Thomas Randall, Jr

    5th State Senate Candidate Greg Aghazarian isn’t that well known here in Yolo County because he resides in San Jaoquin County but us Yolo County residents can get to know about better him better by visiting his campaigns website at:

    http://www.joingreg.com

    In addition other information can be obtained from the following source about Greg’s candidacy as well:

    YOLO COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY (YCRP)
    HEADQUARTERS (HQ)
    526 MAIN STREET
    WOODLAND CA 95695-3434

    Primary Contact Person: Mr. Steve Venables:

    Phone #: (530) 406-1400

    E-Mail: steve@wt.webmail.com

    Website: http://www.yologop.org

  24. Thomas Randall, Jr

    5th State Senate Candidate Greg Aghazarian isn’t that well known here in Yolo County because he resides in San Jaoquin County but us Yolo County residents can get to know about better him better by visiting his campaigns website at:

    http://www.joingreg.com

    In addition other information can be obtained from the following source about Greg’s candidacy as well:

    YOLO COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY (YCRP)
    HEADQUARTERS (HQ)
    526 MAIN STREET
    WOODLAND CA 95695-3434

    Primary Contact Person: Mr. Steve Venables:

    Phone #: (530) 406-1400

    E-Mail: steve@wt.webmail.com

    Website: http://www.yologop.org

  25. Anonymous

    David Greenwald, (also known by the fake name, doug paul davis),

    I am old enough to have known several members of the U.S. Armed forces that were taken prisoner and were part of the, Bataan Death March. I find it extremely disrespectful of you to refer to those thousands of heroes that died for our country,in your blog. You are absolutely clueless as to the death and suffering you referred to.
    In response to, “the unions are lining up behind him”, I suggest to those who vote, beware of a candidate that the unions line up behind.
    As far as this blog goes it appears to blow with the wind. In any event the game isn’t over til the fat lady sings. No offense to your wife David.

  26. Anonymous

    David Greenwald, (also known by the fake name, doug paul davis),

    I am old enough to have known several members of the U.S. Armed forces that were taken prisoner and were part of the, Bataan Death March. I find it extremely disrespectful of you to refer to those thousands of heroes that died for our country,in your blog. You are absolutely clueless as to the death and suffering you referred to.
    In response to, “the unions are lining up behind him”, I suggest to those who vote, beware of a candidate that the unions line up behind.
    As far as this blog goes it appears to blow with the wind. In any event the game isn’t over til the fat lady sings. No offense to your wife David.

  27. Anonymous

    David Greenwald, (also known by the fake name, doug paul davis),

    I am old enough to have known several members of the U.S. Armed forces that were taken prisoner and were part of the, Bataan Death March. I find it extremely disrespectful of you to refer to those thousands of heroes that died for our country,in your blog. You are absolutely clueless as to the death and suffering you referred to.
    In response to, “the unions are lining up behind him”, I suggest to those who vote, beware of a candidate that the unions line up behind.
    As far as this blog goes it appears to blow with the wind. In any event the game isn’t over til the fat lady sings. No offense to your wife David.

  28. Anonymous

    David Greenwald, (also known by the fake name, doug paul davis),

    I am old enough to have known several members of the U.S. Armed forces that were taken prisoner and were part of the, Bataan Death March. I find it extremely disrespectful of you to refer to those thousands of heroes that died for our country,in your blog. You are absolutely clueless as to the death and suffering you referred to.
    In response to, “the unions are lining up behind him”, I suggest to those who vote, beware of a candidate that the unions line up behind.
    As far as this blog goes it appears to blow with the wind. In any event the game isn’t over til the fat lady sings. No offense to your wife David.

  29. Old Skool Davis

    To: Davis Renter,
    great observations, thanks for saving me the grief. That spew was heinous & sacrilegious. How about that mock about Strickland USMC?

    "No shame to their game"

    Are you enjoying your freedom and sense of entitlement today?

    This coming November take the time to thank a veteran.

  30. Old Skool Davis

    To: Davis Renter,
    great observations, thanks for saving me the grief. That spew was heinous & sacrilegious. How about that mock about Strickland USMC?

    "No shame to their game"

    Are you enjoying your freedom and sense of entitlement today?

    This coming November take the time to thank a veteran.

  31. Old Skool Davis

    To: Davis Renter,
    great observations, thanks for saving me the grief. That spew was heinous & sacrilegious. How about that mock about Strickland USMC?

    "No shame to their game"

    Are you enjoying your freedom and sense of entitlement today?

    This coming November take the time to thank a veteran.

  32. Old Skool Davis

    To: Davis Renter,
    great observations, thanks for saving me the grief. That spew was heinous & sacrilegious. How about that mock about Strickland USMC?

    "No shame to their game"

    Are you enjoying your freedom and sense of entitlement today?

    This coming November take the time to thank a veteran.

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