Winning in 2022: Candidate spotlight on Joseph Rocha
He has what it takes to beat Darrell Issa in California's 50th Congressional district
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This is the first in what will be a series focusing on Democratic candidates Im interviewing on my SiriusXM show as Democrats fight to keep the House and Senate, and even gain seats, in the 2022 midterms.
Joseph Rocha is an Army and Navy veteran who fought to overturn the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which banned gay and lesbian servicemembers from serving openly. He actually served in the Army first, and, after his discharge in 2007, used his story to fight against the discriminatory policy, testifying as a witness as the ban was challenged in federal courts. During that time he attended law school. After DADT was repealed ten years ago, Rocha joined the Marines, rising to the rank of Marine Corps Captain and prosecutor.
He spoke with me on my SiriusXM program about his personal story, his passion for justice and what made him want to run for office. He’s focused on jobs and infrastructure as top priorities, supports a $15 minimum wage and believes we must address climate change urgently.
Rocha has what it takes to win against incumbent Republican Darrell Issa, a complete lackey to Donald Trump and someone who Cook Political Report deems one of the most vulnerable Republicans in Congress.
Issa, you may recall, has a history as one of the GOP’s most far-right and antagonistic bomb throwers, viciously attacking Democrats at every turn. He served for 18 years in California’s 48th and 49th Congressional districts, until he threw in the towel in 2018, fearful of the coming blue wave amid the backlash to Trump.
But Issa, then the richest person in Congress (now he is number two), came back in 2020, running in a district he saw as more winnable at the time, California’s 50th district, which includes part of San Diego and Riverside counties. It was a year when Trump brought out GOP voters because he was on the ballot himself, and yet Issa didn’t win the margins of other GOP candidates in the district.
One of the first things Issa did in office was to support the Big Lie and the insurrection, voting to overturn the 2020 presidential election on that day when mobs stormed the Capitol.
Issa, who engaged in gay-baiting in political ads in 2020, and who still supports repeal of Obamacare, is running on Trumpism, which California Governor Gavin Newsom, in resoundingly beating back a recall effort, showed is toxic for GOP candidates across the country and certainly in California.
Joseph Rocha had a lot to say about Issa, and why he must be beaten. And we talked about so much more.
Take a listen to the full to the interview. And check out his website here.
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