Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has been a sitting member of Congress since 1987. For the upcoming 2020 election, she’s facing opposition from both sides of the aisle for California’s 12th Congressional district, making this election the most difficult since she took office.
California has a top-two primary system in which the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, advance to the general election.
Pelosi’s Democratic challengers include fellow Democrats Agatha Bacelar and Shahid Buttar. She’s also being challenged by a pair of Republican candidates, John Dennis and DeAnna Lorraine Tesoriero.
The speaker’s Republican opponents both cite her push for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, plus the rampant homelessness and crime in her district, as vulnerabilities in her campaign for re-election.
Both GOP candidates for California’s 12th Congressional district spoke with this reporter.
Dennis currently serves as Chairman of the San Francisco Republican Party. He’s faced threats to his personal safety while campaigning in his district, which he says were instigated by a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
“Matt Haney, the supervisor for district six, which we were cleaning up which is one of the most disgusting parts of town, he puts out a tweet calling us ‘hateful Trump supporters’ to incite people to come down and heckle us,” Dennis told this reporter. “He deletes the tweet when things go awry. Are we now running goon squads out of city hall?”
The San Francisco GOP Chairman says that Pelosi has failed to address a lot of key issues both as a member of Congress and especially as Speaker of the House.
“The amount of debt Americans are holding in general, cars and student loans, you look at corporate debt, county, state, it’s unprecedented in history,” said Dennis. “That’s the big issue that we need to get a grip on. One thing the federal government could do is take leadership in paying down its own debt, which would allow interest rates to go up and force some monetary discipline on all of that debt that’s sitting there. I don’t think Pelosi even understands the issue.”
If elected to Congress, Dennis says he would push to end some of the United States’ longest wars.
“Why are we in Afghanistan for 20 years?” Dennis said. “The power of the purse strings and the war powers both lie in the House. Pelosi could bring our troops home in a minute but she doesn’t do a thing about it, she lets it go on and on.”
Dennis also mentioned that action needs to be taken in regards to addicts and homeless people lingering on the city’s streets.
“These people need to be arrested for committing crimes on the streets and put into the services where they need to be, whether it’s rehab or jail,” Dennis said. “Leaving them on the streets is a death sentence.”
He adds that another policy of his is to take a strong position on defense and that he doesn’t see a need for U.S. troops to still be in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Dennis has taken his GOP opponent to task over her residence. “I read her FEC filings and (Tesoriero) is spending all of her money on travel and she’s used some of her donors’ money to rent a room in San Francisco, a total FEC violation,” he said. “She’s a scam artist and you can quote me on that.”
DeAnna is the other Republican running against Nancy Pelosi. The California native says it is time for change in her district.
“One of the reasons I am running for Congress is to clean out the corruption, and that starts with Nancy Pelosi,” she told this reporter. “Instead of caring for the people of San Francisco and advancing their issues on a national scale, she spends her time conducting asinine impeachments, petulant theatrical tantrums and ripping apart the President’s State of the Union Speech. It’s past time we start hitting her hard on her record of poor leadership and egregious crimes against America, and I look very much forward to retiring her in November.”
In the meantime, Dennis told this reporter that he doesn’t think Tesoriero should be running since she has recently been living in Southern California. The Los Altos native responded to his statement by saying she has a better understanding of the state as a lifelong Californian as opposed to Dennis, who is originally from New Jersey.
“At the end of the day, we have to put up a good, strong candidate who is a strong, loyal patriot in office who is going to stand up to ‘the squad,’ who is going to defend our constitutional rights boldly and defend our President and help enact his America First agenda that millions of Americans voted for,” she said. “We need someone with energy, we need some with creativity and ingenuity. Someone who can gain enthusiasm and a following and I am that woman. It doesn’t matter if I was born 20 miles outside of San Francisco, that is such a petty detail to hang on.”