East Bay congressional district has never been led by a woman of color. ‘It’s about damn time, right?’ Wahab says

Hayward Councilmember Aisha Wahab on The Young Turks channel program, "The Damage Report with John Iadarola."

Rep. Eric Swalwell is running a presidential campaign while, at the same time, doing a good job of keeping prospective challengers for his congressional seat and campaign donors unsure whether he will return to the district.  Swalwell says he’ll make the decision before Dec. 8.

But Hayward Councilmember Aisha Wahab, the one candidate who is taking Swalwell at his word that he won’t, continues to move forward with her campaign to replace him next March. She appeared on The Young Turks last week to rouse up progressive support for her campaign.

“Right now, we need drastic change,” Wahab told John Iadarola, host of “The Damage Report.” I’m a disruptor and I really appreciate everyone else who is disrupting the narrative of the conversation because as much as I feel the pendulum has swung right, it’s going to swing that much harder to the left now. And that’s what we’re really seeing today.”

Wahab’s race is oddly undefined because of the uncertainty over Swalwell’s future in the district, and after state Sen. Bob Wieckowski announced recently that he will not run in the 15th Congressional District, but instead, run for the open seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

In order to be successful, Wahab’s campaign needs engage younger voters, people who have typically avoided joining the political conversation, and women of color, she said.

“This seat have never been held by a woman. It’s never been held by a woman of color, so we definitely need that to change, especially in the Bay Area, right? It’s about damn time, right?” she said.

In addition, the general area of the 15th District — Hayward and portions of the Tri-Valley and Tri-Cities — has not featured an open seat in congress since 1924. Whether it retains its “open” moniker remains to be seen. While Wieckowski acknowledged he would drop out of the congressional race if Swalwell re-entered, Wahab has not yet made a similar declaration.