Did you know that Janet Nugyen – former State Senator from Orange County who got harvested out of her seat in the State Senate – was going to run for CAGOP Chair? She was a rumored candidate after former Congresswoman Mimi Walters was.
In the case of Nguyen, it is alleged that Kevin McCarthy is not a fan. Nguyen is alleged to have issues with Assemblyman Tyler Diep (who won AD72 in Orange County due to the help of Travis Allen despite the onslaught) and Supervisor Andrew Do. It was put to me that some of that baggage was part of McCarthy’s reticence to support her. (Note: the CIR went in huge for both Do and Diep in their races)
Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the GOP Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, is quite worried about Travis Allen (or Steve Frank) getting elected Chairman. He is alleged to have not stopped looking for a candidate not named David Hadley.
It is my opinion, based on conversations with several delegates and interested political insiders that David Hadley has failed to gain traction and that Steve Frank has a loyal base of much older delegates and Travis Allen has a broad and passionate base. With the moderate/establishment/liberal faction of the GOP divided and the entire CAGOP demoralized the door is wide open for any legitimate candidate with positive history among the grassroots to win.
Remember this in the backdrop of the $2MM+ that was spent in 2016 trying to control nominees in dem districts and County Central Committee members. That is basically a memory as the rank and file body of the CAGOP appear to be off the reservation.
Kevin McCarthy is going to be forced to do something he has not had to do in many years, fund an operation to keep control of the CAGOP. That had fallen onto the shoulders of Charles Munger until Mr. Munger decided that he was wasting his money in politics (my opinion, based on the pattern I saw).
This gets me to how I drew the conclusion that Kevin McCarthy has thrown David Hadley under the bus. Once Janet Nguyen was summarily rejected by McCarthy – and on the heels of every former member of Congress deciding to go get paying jobs, retire, etc. – the phone calls did not stop.
McCarthy appears to be digging deep in to his well and the name that is surfacing is long time political operative Jessica Patterson. Patterson is not well-known in the rank-and-file of the CAGOP as she is typically at conventions working delegate and floor drills.
Every negative bit of info I got about Jessica Patterson came from Steve Frank. (I will not regurgitate that on this blog) I first encountered her name when working for Steve Poizner (with Steve Frank) against Meg Whitman. Before I left the Steve Poizner campaign, I used to talk to Frank about a lot of the operatives in the Whitman Camp, Patterson was one.
Patterson worked for CAGOP “Leadership” for several years. Her role was always to carry out the wishes of the CAGOP leadership in convention outcomes. There is nothing immoral about that, it is a job for which Patterson excelled and was well-paid.
The insiders I have spoken to about Patterson all think well of her, but few people I know really know her well. This may well be of Jessica’s own doing, as the thing I find odd is that even though I have 21 years experience in the CAGOP and campaigns, I have had almost no interactions with her.
Patterson will have to overcome the attachment to McCarthy and that her resume will look like that of the consummate insider. I am not sure how she overcomes that, but again, she is well liked by those that know her.
It is clear to me that Travis Allen has the advantage at this point in the CAGOP Chairman’s race and the reactions are going to continue and intensify as he continues to consolidate support.
P.S Rumors related to “Down Ticket” offices:
Vice Chair: Charlie Schaupp, David Hernandez, Corrin Rankin and SB GOP Chair Jan Leja. The first three have announced. Schaupp is from Esparto, Rankin from Redwood City and Hernandez is from Glendale. All three have been candidates for office in the past.
Secretary: Dan Trimble ( He is from the Bay Area and has been a long time advocate of pulling the Pro-Life and Pro-Family planks out of the CAGOP Platform)
Treasurer: Carpenteria CPA Greg Gandrud (who is a former Central Coast Vice Chair)
North Coast Vice Chair: Matt Heath (former AD02 Candidate)
Northern Vice Chair: Current termed-out CAGOP Secretary Deborah Wilder (note that Wilder opposed the censure of Chad Mayes by the CAGOP Board)
If you have any tips for your intrepid blogger – email me at [email protected]
Lastly, I’d like to point out that I have never seen in the 21 years in CAGOP politics this small a number of candidates for major party office. It should also be noted that we are inside of two months before the elections and several of the candidates we do know about are quite recent. This means that the traditional web of control by the “Establishment” does not exist in the same manner as it once did. Very interesting indeed.