Kimberlin Brown Pelzer finished ahead of all other Republican contenders in California’s 36th congressional district in Tuesday’s primary, securing the right to challenge incumbent third-term Democrat Raul Ruiz in November.
Pelzer won 22.9% of the vote, more than 14 points ahead of her closest rival. However, Ruiz won a majority in the primary, with 54.7% of the vote, meaning that she will face an uphill battle.
As Breitbart News noted in April:
[T]here is hope for the Republican Party in the 36th district, which takes up most of Riverside County west of Interstate 215, running all the way east to the Arizona border.
The Cook Partisan Voting Index rates the 36th as a D+2, meaning it is essentially a swing district. And the Democratic incumbent, Raul Ruiz, has failed to distinguish himself in three terms. He is essentially a stand-in for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who hopes to regain the Speaker’s gavel next year.
In addition, Ruiz has adopted far-left positions on a variety of issues, especially foreign policy. He is a strong supporter of the Iran nuclear deal, and has been endorsed by J Street, a radical far-left organization that many consider anti-Israel.
In addition, Ruiz has received a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood. When two of his campaign donors were revealed to be the targets of a criminal investigation in 2017, Ruiz did not return their money: he gave it to Planned Parenthood instead.
Pelzer — an actress, businesswoman, farmer, and activist — has spent conservatively, saving her resources for the general election. If she can convince donors that a real pickup opportunity exists in the 36th district — or that it might help Republicans in other races to run a strong race there — she just might pull off the upset in November.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.