|Rep. Ro Khanna|
17TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom last month famously announced support for both candidates in the hard-fought state Democratic Party chair race. But in the aftermath of the contentious campaign won by Los Angeles Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman over the progressive Richmond upstart Kimberly Ellis, it was later learned that Newsom didn’t cast a ballot. Neither did Sen. Kamala Harris.
Bauman defeated Ellis by just 62 votes out of more than 3,000 cast by party delegates last month. According to ballots currently being examined by Ellis’ campaign, it turns out the tally should have been 61 votes.
That’s because, even though Rep. Ro Khanna, who represents Fremont and the South Bay in Congress, endorsed Ellis for state party chair, he did not follow through when it counts. Just like the others, Khanna didn’t cast a ballot, nor did he send a proxy.
Since being elected to Congress last November, Khanna has been burnishing his progressive credentials at a feverish pace. Backing Ellis, a darling of the progressive wing that backed Sen. Bernie Sanders, appeared part of this strategy, but not the actual support at the ballot box.
In early June, Ellis challenged the results of the election and party officials deemed 220 of the ballots worthy of further examination for various reasons.
Among them is ballots from Rep. Barbara Lee and Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Tony Thurmond. Other local officials did not have much trouble the process, but the release of data revealed which candidate they supported during the election.
Bonta voted for Ellis, but according the ballot review forms, his vote is being examined by the commission because his signature potential does not match its records.
There is also questions about Thurmond’s ballot. His proxy, 15th Assembly District Director Mary Nicely, voted for Ellis but did not fill out a proxy form and also under review by the commission.
Lee’s vote for Ellis is also under review, but the ballot form does not list a reason.
Rep. Eric Swalwell used a proxy to vote for Ellis.
The rest of the East Bay’s state legislators’ ballot were accepted by the commission, but like the statewide party chair vote, the delegation was split between Bauman and Ellis.
State Sens. Nancy Skinner and Bob Wieckowski backed Bauman, as did Hayward Assemblymember Bill Quirk.
South Bay Assemblymember Kansen Chu cast a ballot for Ellis.