Jewish Journal


March 27, 2012

“Non -erman” #1: Vince Gilmore, Democrat



While most candidates want to get their faces out there, Vince Gilmore, a Democrat running for congress in the California's 30th district, has this picture on his website. Photo courtesy VinceGilmore2012.com

Thanks to a ballot measure approved by voters in 2010, this year will be the first regularly scheduled election cycle in California to include what some call a “jungle primary,” in which all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, will appear on a single ballot, and in which all voters, regardless of party registration, will be allowed to vote.

In the 30th district, along with Reps. Howard Berman (D - Van Nuys) and Brad Sherman (D - Sherman Oaks), five other candidates’ names are set to appear on primary ballots on June 5. Assuming no single candidate wins an outright majority, the top two vote getters will advance to a second round general election in November. And while the two incumbents are certainly the best known candidates of the bunch, whether both of them can make it through the first round is still anyone’s guess.

As I’ve noted on this blog, some political observers have speculated that the continuation of the contest for the Republican Presidential nomination might bring more registered Republicans to the polls, which could make “Berman v. Sherman, Round Two” less likely. Then again, the three Republican candidates could split the GOP vote.

All this by way of introducing the series of profiles of the “non -ermans,” the candidates running in the 30th congressional district who don’t have blogs named after them.

* * *

There’s only one non-incumbent Dem running in this race, and I have no idea what he looks like, because Gilmore’s website doesn’t include a photograph. Or a biography, for that matter. But in an interview with the Journal, Gilmore, a freelance gardener, said he is hoping that voters will focus on his ideas rather than on his age (31) or his lack of experience. (The Los Angeles Times called him a “neophyte.” Gilmore prefers the epithet, “Constitutional Democrat.”)

“Since I’m young I didn’t want people to make prejudgments on how I look or my age,” Gilmore said in a phone conversation in February. So he’s been using the stars and stripes instead. “I thought, what better than a nice American flag to get my message out there?”

Gilmore’s message, in a nutshell, is anti-war, anti-free trade and pro-civil liberties. Gilmore opposes the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, preferring “total individual freedom” on the internet, and he’s opposed to all foreign aid, including foreign aid to Israel.

“I would argue that foreign aid is not authorized in the constitution,” Gilmore said. “It’s as simple as that to me.”

“It’s not an anti-Israel policy as much as it’s a pro-constitution policy,” he added.

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