Oct. 6, 2019
Democratic Party refuses early endorsement to U.S. Rep Ami Bera
by wide margin; signals competitive race against Jeff Burdick
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today by a wide margin, four-term incumbent Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) was denied his party’s endorsement. Bera needed to appear on 70% of cast ballots at local Democrats’ pre-endorsement conference but earned just 48 votes out 78 cast (61.5%).
This was Bera’s first head-to-head matchup against his Progressive Democratic opponent Jeff Burdick. They are competing in California’s 7th Congressional District (CA-7) that covers most of eastern Sacramento County from Elk Grove to Citrus Heights to Folsom. Final decision on the party’s endorsement now moves to Long Beach next month for the state Democratic convention. There Bera must maintain at least 60% of votes cast to earn the party’s official endorsement.
“Today’s no-endorsement vote surprised many Bera backers, but not us,” Burdick said. “The CA-7 has become a solidly Democratic district, with 25% more registered Democrats than Republicans. This means Bera’s centrist positions and many votes for Republican bills no longer represent where the CA-7 and the Democratic Party are.”
In addition, Burdick was endorsed yesterday by the JFK Democratic Club of Sacramento County – the first of a dozen local Democratic clubs expected to endorse a candidate.
The primary is March 3rd, and Burdick’s campaign features two parts. First, he is running on a traditional Progressive platform of Medicare for All, comprehensive prescription drug cost reform, and the Green New Deal.
Second, he has proposed a non-partisan Election Reform Constitutional Amendment to address issues the Supreme Court refuses to resolve but aggravates most voters regardless of party affiliation. This includes overturning Citizens United, enshrining true campaign finance reform, ending gerrymandering and ending corporate personhood.
“Also, most of my progressive issues are already popular among Democratic voters. Take Medicare for All,” he said. “According to a July survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 72% of Democrats already favor it, as do 55% of independent and unaffiliated voters. This means Medicare for All is not just right policy but also a winner at the ballot box.”
By contrast, Ami Bera opposes Medicare for All. He regularly dismisses it as “socialism” while avoiding being specific on his preferred approach. Also, since 2014, Bera has also taken more than $1.1 million in donations from Big Pharma, Big Insurance and from the HMO industry who also oppose Medicare for All, a model that in other countries has consistently reduced costs for citizens and leads to be health outcomes.
“Health care is just another issue on which Bera supports a corporate-backed position that is not popular with voters in his party or his district,” Burdick said. “The same applies to his positions on comprehensive drug cost reform, the Green New Deal, impeachment and campaign finance reform.
“Because the CA-7 is now solidly Democratic, this election will be solely about what kind of Democrat should represent this district moving forward. Should it be a solidly Blue and dependable Democrat like me, or a corporate purple Democrat who regularly votes with the Republicans? Thatis the choice voters will decide first in the March 3 primary.”
A resident of Sacramento’s Arden-Arcade neighborhood, Jeff Burdick is running in California’s 7th U.S. Congressional district. Visit www.BurdickForCongress.org.