September 2023 Newsletter Articles

Rep. John Duarte Swings Through Bay Area

By Roger Riffenburgh


Central Valley Congressman John Duarte recently visited with two groups in the Bay Area.  In Pleasanton he met with a group of community leaders.  In Cupertino he was the featured speaker at the Santa Clara County GOP-SPARC picnic.  He is the closest Republican member of Congress to the Bay Area.

Duarte drew attention last fall when he defeated a Democrat assemblyman and won election in a district with a 14% Dem registration advantage.  He received 50.2% of the vote, a 564 vote margin, and his race was one of the last in the country to be decided.

A farmer and a businessman, Representative Duarte serves on three important House committees: Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources, and Agriculture.  He is able to apply his expertise to transportation infrastructure, water management, and farming practices and financing, respectively, as well as to other related issues.

John Duarte takes a practical approach to politics and has succeeded by focusing on the basic needs of his low-income district.  He emphasizes the need to provide water to the valley, produce American oil, and get the cost of living under control.  He says that Republicans can succeed in campaigning by contrasting their support of opportunity and individual agency against the identity politics and scarcity that are created by the Democrats’ policies.

Duarte represents Congressional District 13, which includes part of the western Central Valley between Modesto and Fresno.  (See the map.)  It abuts the eastern side of counties in the extended Bay Area, including Alameda, Santa Clara, San Benito, and Monterey.

John Duarte was born in Modesto and is a fourth-generation farmer and businessman of Portuguese ancestry.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from San Diego State and an MBA from the University of the Pacific.  He and his wife have together run a farming operation of vineyards and orchards since 1989.

Duarte had a significant experience with the heavy hand of government in 2012, when his land was being tilled in preparation to plant wheat.  The federal government accused his farm of damaging temporary wetlands.  Ultimately Duarte had to settle the case rather than risk catastrophic liability to his successful farming business. Subsequently the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the definition of wetlands to exclude areas that did not have a direct connection to larger waterways like rivers and oceans.

John and his wife Alexandra live near Stockton, where they have raised four children, who have attended public schools.  One can find out more about John on his Congressional website and on his campaign website.

Presidential Candidates Highlight Fall CAGOP Convention

When California Republican Party delegates gather in Anaheim this month, they will be greeted by at least four leading Presidential candidates seeking their support.

Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott and Vivek Ramaswamy have confirmed their attendance at the CAGOP fall convention on September 29-October 1.  The CAGOP has yet to announce who will be the dinner speaker on Saturday evening.

Former President Donald Trump will address delegates and guests at lunch on Friday, September 29.  South Carolina Senator Tim Scott will speak that same afternoon, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will be the dinner speaker on Friday evening.

On Saturday, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy will be the luncheon speaker.  Stay tuned to hear who will speak Saturday at dinner.

Delegates are encouraged to register soon for the convention as events may sell out.  Guests and Associate Delegates are welcome.  Any delegate may appoint Associate Delegates, who must be registered California Republicans.  Associate Delegates are permitted to attend all events and carry a proxy for a delegate who cannot attend.  Delegates must complete and submit an original signed proxy form if they want to assign their vote.  Scans and faxes are not accepted.  Associate Delegate appointment forms and proxy forms are available online. The deadline to appoint Associate Delegates for this convention is September 19.

At the convention, the more than 200 members of the CAGOP platform committee will consider amendments to the draft CAGOP platform written by the drafting committee. The drafting committee met in Anaheim on July 29. The 4-page draft platform is available for review on the CAGOP website.  It is substantially shorter than the current 14-page platform which is also available online. If the full platform committee completes its work, convention delegates will consider the new proposed platform during the Sunday general session.  CAGOP bylaws allow the platform to be considered at either the fall 2023 or spring 2024 convention.

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