The State Of California: Upstart Democrat Goes For Upset In California's 4th District

KCBS Radio Afternoon News
July 29, 2020 - 6:49 pm

    Related: The State Of California: Inside The Biden Campaign

    With November fast approaching, all political eyes are on the tight polls in battleground races across the country.

    One of those battlegrounds could very well be here in Northern California with an upstart Democrat looking to unseat the GOP incumbent in a typically deep red district.

    Brynne Kennedy joined KCBS Radio’s "The State Of California" to discuss her campaign. Kennedy was one of six Democrats who sought the nomination, winning the primary in March.

    CEO of Topia Brynne Kennedy speaks on stage during TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin 2018 at Treptow Arena on November 30, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.
    Noam Galai/Getty Images

    Why are you running to replace Congressman Tom McClintock in the 4th Congressional District?

    This is an important race for us this year and one that we can win. What we really see is that people are fed up with blind partisanship. McClintock is the fifth-most partisan member of Congress and he is doing lots of gains operating on the fringe of party. He’s the only person from California from either party to vote against COVID aid. In my district, people are concerned about their jobs, their healthcare and their retirement and he is not.

    If you look at this race, how’s the pandemic affecting this race?

    The situation is all about COVID. It’s about the small businesses that have been impacted by the shutdown. It’s about people losing their ability to earn an income. It’s about seniors watching their retirement dwindle away and folks losing their healthcare. My opponent, McClintock, has spent a 40-year career trying to take away healthcare, take away retirement and not standing up for our community. In fact, he’s never even lived in our community. That’s not what people want today. What people want is a pragmatic problem solver. That’s what I bring. I work with everyone. I listen to everyone. I am here to solve these very large challenges that we have ahead and get people back to work.

    How important are money and resources to the campaign at this point?

    They’re very important. As a challenger, I’m getting my message out and also letting voters know that McClintock is a 40-year career politician that does partisan games instead of solving problems. I am a bipartisan problem solver and a businesswoman. We raised a lot of money because this race is winnable, because people are ready for change and because they are ready for next generation leaders in Congress who will put partisanship and political parties aside to actually make an impact like I did in my career in the private sector.

    The vote-by-mail process has become a huge issue in this election. How confident are you that it can be a secure process here in California?

    It’s interesting because in our district, people have been voting by mail for many, many years. Eighty percent of our district, even before the pandemic, has been voting by mail. This is not new. The fact that Tom McClintock is assaulting the idea of vote-by-mail is just another one of his partisan games. In fact, Tom votes by mail. But he can’t even vote for himself because he lives in a different district. So it’s really, really silly that we have folks like McClintock that are advocating against vote-by-mail when we’ve already been doing. If he lived here and was a member of the community, he would know how people vote.

    How important are national organizations and interests outside the state in drawing attention to your campaign?

    My race is about our community, first and foremost. It’s a choice between a bipartisan problem solver who has chosen to live in our community and make a life in our community versus someone who’s a 40-year career politician who used to represent Los Angeles, southern California in the State Legislature, and never actually has lived in our district or cares about our community. That’s the primary focus of the race. It’s reflective of how the two of us are running our races differently. He is all wrapped up in national, partisan organizations on his side. Contrast that with what I’ve been doing. I’ve sourced PPE in the depths of the pandemic for all of our hospitals. I’ve been helping residents get their unemployment checks, their stimulus checks when his office wasn’t. I’ve been listening to everyone. Folks of all parties, some who will vote for me and some who will not because that’s what the job is and McClintock is failing to do his job.