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CA-48 Special Election on Tuesday

Voters in California's 48th District will select a replacement for former Rep. Chris Cox (R) on Tuesday in a race that has managed to attract some national media attention thanks to the role the immigration issue is playing.

State Sen. John Campbell (R) seems assured of victory, considering that he won 46 percent of the vote in a 17-way open primary on Oct. 4. Under California election law, the top votegetters from each of the five qualifying parties (Republican, Democrat, American Independent, Green and Libertarian) advanced to the runoff since no candidate managed to garner more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary. The special election in this Orange County seat was triggered when Cox was appointed this year to head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It is the American Independent Party candidate -- Jim Gilchrist -- who has captured the what little attention that has been from the national media.  An ardent immigration opponent, Gilchrist is one of the founding members of the Minuteman Project, a group that patrols the U.S. border with Mexico.

Gilchrist drew a surprisingly strong 15 percent of the vote in the primary, putting him in third place behind Campbell and former state Assemblywoman Marilyn Brewer (R).  Steve Young, the strongest finisher among Democrats, took just nine percent of the primary vote, a reflection of the GOP's strength in the district, which President Bush won with 58 percent of the vote last November. The other candidates are Bruce Cohen (Libertarian) and Bea Tiritilli (Green).

With immigration reform likely to be a hot topic of debate in Congress over the coming weeks and months, political operatives are watching with interest to see how strongly Gilchrist performs on Tuesday.

The national newspapers are all over the Gilchrist angle: the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and USA Today have all done pieces on this special election.

If Gilchrist is able to significantly improve his vote total from the primary, expect a series of stories in these and other publications about how immigration is becoming the sleeper issue of 2006 and 2008.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 5, 2005; 6:15 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: CA-50: Is Francine Busby the Next Paul Hackett?


Great article, that was interesting

Posted by: make money online free | May 12, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Great article, that was interesting

Posted by: make money online free | May 12, 2006 5:45 PM | Report abuse


When the Europeans immigrated here, they came to work, be self-sufficient, LEARN ENGLISH, and become AMERICANS! There was no
welfare, forced bussing, forced integration, affermative action, great society, or any of the other FAILED PROGRAMS that have been ramed down our throats since 1965!
This country is well on it's way to becoming another "Balkins"! It won't happen in my lifetime, but you are going to wind up with a black U.S., a hispanic U.S., and a white U.S. In other words the United States as we know it today will no longer exist. And just like the Balkins, or
the Middle East, there will be constant wars over any little thing.
Then it will be survival of the fittest - which I don't think is going to be the white race! And the victors WILL NOT be mercifull.

Merry Christmas

Posted by: Ralph L. | December 7, 2005 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Its not our responsibility to ensure every poor individual has a job. Vicente Fox needs to improve the lot of his own people instead of encouraging them to illegally come to this country. I'm all for legal immigration - its what made this country what it is. But, we need to fix the situation for the sake of national security. But it will never happen because Big Business doesn't want to have to pay people a living wage because it eats into their profit. Bush is in the pocket of Big Business so he'll just make it easier for illegals to enter.

Posted by: KAS | December 7, 2005 10:33 AM | Report abuse

It is a sad day when someone in America devalues and puts down all that makes this country great. Diversity is what makes this country great. From the first settlers who were escaping religious persecution, the the Irish who escaped poverty and famine in the 1800's to the Germans, Pole, Italians etc who escaped dictators in the 1930's to the Cuban who fled a communist dictator in 1980's to the Iranian who would not go along with the Islamic revolution to the Vietnameese who fled communist rule, this has been a home of the free.

Mexicans are coming here for their survival, economic survival. How many of you have visited Mexico. Go to Alcapulco and go outside the tourist area. Look and smell the open sewers running down the streets in front of the homes, drive out towards San Marcos along the Pacific coast look at the poverty.

People who make such prejudice statements about immigrants obviously dont realizse their forefathers were in the same boat many years ago. Instead of making illegal immigrants a political issue, why not work to help solve the problems. After all, a sound, stable, economioally viable Mexico is in the USA's best interest. Instead, we send signals all the time with this militiamen mentality that we are biased and prejudiced against hispanics. Shame on those that send this message.

I am not intending to imply there is not an illegal immigration problem that is straining resources in parts of the county. Something has to be done. Militiamen is not the answer. And dont think this behavior is not buiding resentment in the hispanic community it is. People like Gilchrest are galvanizing hispanics all across America. The number of hispanic voters that went to the polls and voted for Tim Kaine doubled that of Warner in 2001. The reason cited, The GOP's anti immigration stance.

Hispanics are the largest minority in America. If a candidate is going to run on an anti-immigration platform, he or she will be limiting his or her ability to win at the state or national level in the future.

This is one area were Dubya has it right, if the GOP runs an anti-immigration wedge issue, they are risking losing at the national level and many house seats where hispanics can make a difference. Remember Loretta Sanchez taking out Dornan in California. That could happen again in at least 50 districts across America, especially in Fl, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

Posted by: db | December 6, 2005 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Jim Gilchrist WILL BE victorious in the special election! Americans a waking up to the threat of unlimited illegal immigration, and the TOTAL BULLSHIT that
"Diversity is our strength"!
Unless people in the border states want to be pledging allegience to MEXICO, they had better vote for someone who WILL DO something about immigration other that put out a lot of "smoke and mirrors" like our Mexican loving President!

Posted by: Ralph L. | December 6, 2005 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Immigration the "sleeper" issue of 2006 and 2008? Isn't it obvious that the Republicans for some time now have been cultivating this as the wedge cultural issue du jour? To call it a "sleeper" issue is to buy into this GOP gambit. And boy, the press sure likes nothing more than buying into gambits, I tell you what!

Posted by: Chachy | December 6, 2005 1:54 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | December 5, 2005 6:41 PM | Report abuse

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