The casual assumption has been that Democrat Kamala Harris, currently state attorney general and formerly district attorney of San Francisco, would win in a cakewalk, given she’s raised millions of dollars more than her leading rival in the polls, Democratic Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of Orange County.
The probability has been strong for an all-Democrat November runoff election , as the two Republicans in the race, former state GOP chairmen George (Duf) Sundheim and Tom Del Beccaro, register well under 10 percent in the latest polls and have had little success raising campaign money.
Enter Ron Unz, 54, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who has been out of politics since his 1998 Proposition 227 eliminated most bilingual education programs in California public schools. But as an individual candidate in 1994 at age 32, he won 35 percent of the Republican primary vote against then-incumbent Gov. Pete Wilson.
“It’s a very unusual election cycle,” Unz understated in an interview the other day. The other two sort-of significant Republicans in the race have very low poll standings and I think I can shake things up by focusing on controversial issues.”
Anyone watching closely might have gotten a hint that Unz was up to something a week before he officially filed his candidacy papers at the March 16 deadline. “Is the Republican Party just too stupid to survive?” he asked in a blog post that railed against likely GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and blasted the party for continuing to insist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were good, honest ideas.