Ever since Congressional investigations began into the 2016 election and possible collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russia, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has remained one of President Trump’s most staunch defenders and apologists.
As chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes was so eager to benefit the administration that his actions — remember the infamous “midnight run” Nunes made to the White House in order to be given bogus intelligence information? — that he wound up having to recuse himself for months before finally regaining control of the committee just in time to issue a slanted report written by him and other Republicans on the committee just weeks before he shut the entire probe down.
But it now looks like Nunes’ actions on behalf of the Trump administration may wind up making him vulnerable in the upcoming midterm election.
Andrew Janz is the Democrat who will face off against Nunes in November, and many in the district say Nunes is not guaranteed of winning. Nancy Gilmore told Think Progress:
“He’s voted against air quality, EPA regulations, clean drinking water. Very baseline health issues. There’s the whole Russia thing, but what’s most concerning is his complete and utter disregard for this district.”
Others in the district say Nunes simply isn’t responsive to his constituents. He hasn’t held a town hall meeting in the district since 2010 and doesn’t have any plans to before the midterm. That could wind up being a big mistake, according to Fresno State political science professor Tom Holyoke:
“I’ve seen this on more than one occasion. A supposedly safe, powerful member of Congress becomes so focused on Washington, D.C. that they just stop paying attention to what’s going on at home. And voters take notice of that.”
Key To Victory: The Latino Vote
The 22nd district which Nunes represents is 50 percent Latino, and the Janz campaign is focusing on those voters to propel him to victory.
Sergio Martinez, of Lindsay, which is a farming community just east of Tulare, where Nunes was born, says the key to Latino support is reaching out to the community, which neither party has done in the past:
“People who are working in the fields come home dog tired and live routine lives. They don’t even know who the candidate is. They’re not going out of their way to find out who’s running or what they’re all about. You need to come to them.”
Even though they know it won’t be easy to be an incumbent Republican in the district, activists who oppose Nunes are optimistic. Rodriguez noted:
“This time in our nation’s history is completely different than any other. The energy of this blue wave, even though it can’t be quantified, needs to be added into the equation.”
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