PIFC staff has been able to stay nimble during the pandemic. Since the Governor issued his stay-at-home order, PIFPAC could no longer host traditional fundraisers for PIFC-endorsed candidates. However, while it is important to stay home, time marches on – we will still have an election in November. PIFPAC must continue to support candidates who understand insurance and are receptive to agents’ perspectives.
We have work ahead to build on our success in the primary, to get the most business-friendly candidates possible elected to the State Legislature. PIFPAC backed many great candidates we want to help succeed. There are also candidates we have serious concerns about in relation to the candidates’ views on wildfire mandates and small business.
Involvement in politics is critical. PIFPAC works to get the best possible candidates to represent districts throughout California. Our state is politically diverse, and the best candidate will vary depending on where the district is located. So PIFPAC is non-partisan, supporting Democrats and Republicans. PIFPAC has an in-depth candidate vetting process: PIFC staff meets with candidates as a first step, educating candidates on top insurance issues like wildfire and Proposition 103. Then PIFC works with like-minded business organizations to further explore candidate background and viability. Finally, the PIFPAC Board conducts in-depth candidate interviews in the PIFC offices, candidates who do well will receive our endorsement, and we work to help their election.
After conducting rounds of candidate interviews last year, PIFC endorsed three candidates for the 2020 election. In Senate district 23 near San Bernardino, currently represented by Senator Morrell who is termed out at the end of 2020, we endorsed Rosiclie Ochoa-Bogh. This district was historically a safe Republican seat but is now a tossup. Ms. Ochoa-Bogh will face Abigail Medina in November. In Senate district 15 in San Jose, we endorsed Ann Ravel. SD 15 is currently held by Senator Jim Beall who is termed out at the end of 2020. Ms. Ravel had a very successful interview with PIFC in November 2019 displaying a good understanding of the insurance industry. Ms. Ravel will face Supervisor Cortese in November, in what is setting up to be a race pitting business and labor against one another. Lastly, PIFC endorsed Chris Ward in Assembly district 78. AD 78 is held by Assemblymember Todd Gloria, who is running for San Diego mayor in 2020.
We expect a delay in finalizing results for this general election due to mail-in voting. While mail-in voting is safe, secure, and trusted, it does take longer to ensure final vote count. We will discuss the results of state elections at our next webinar on November 19th! In the meantime, be sure to check your voter registration.
Elections matter, which is why PIFC takes the 2020 election cycle, and all elections so seriously. After all, it was the 1988 election with Proposition 103 that led to the organization of the insurance industry around a political cause, and the eventual founding of PIFC. The building blocks of political success are relationships with those who are successfully elected. The open seats PIFC is focused on allow opportunity to get to know the candidates, one of whom will be elected to the State Assembly or State Senate. This is an opportunity for PIFC to get in at the ground level to establish a lasting relationship with the victorious candidate. This process is not taken lightly, and includes face to face meetings both in the district and in Sacramento, an interview with the PIFPAC Board, significant research and polling before an ultimate decision is made, and discussions with other like-minded, politically involved organizations in Sacramento.
Elections are important not only for PIFC staff, but we appreciate hearing from PIFPAC members. If you see a local Assembly or Senate Candidate you find particularly compelling, please let us know. Let us know how you see these races playing out as a constituent.