“Moderate” Republican is often thought of as a dirty word in conservative circles. But if one wants to run as a Republican in the 55th Assembly District of California, the ability to appeal to voters across party lines very quickly becomes a vital asset. The 55th is West Los Angeles. It is a deep blue landscape with two-thirds of the registered voters being Democrat; the remainder are split between Republicans and Independents.
This is the district that Keith Cascio hopes to convince to elect him to represent them in Sacramento in November. Keith describes himself as a moderate, pro-choice Republican; the kind of person who stands the best chance to attract the attention of orphaned Democrats and disgruntled Independents.
As you will see in the interview, Keith’s core message to the voters of the 55th is that he is one of them. Not a professional politician. He’s a 20-year resident of Mar Vista, who cares about everyone around him. He concerns himself with issues like homelessness, as well as supporting law and order–the kinds of things that all people living and working in Los Angeles contend with every day.
He is a great admirer of the LAPD and their community policing programs, and distinguishes himself from his opponent because he is a supporter of these efforts by the police; in contrast, he says, his opponent is one of the county’s most vocal defund law enforcement politicians. Keith does not like that.
For someone not being a career politician, Keith is very much aware of how the Sacramento legislative process works. He knows about how special interest organizations fund self-serving research, draft bills legalizing their desires, and shop them around to all-too-willing legislators in the state, who then insert them into placeholder legislation and work with lobbyists at the California legislature to ramrod special interest into law. He doesn’t like this, either!
Cascio says he possesses a skill called math and statistics, which he intends to use to force special interest to prove their assertions in the cold harsh crucible of data-driven policy, a process where proof trumps influence, for every piece of legislation it touches, were he to successfully come to office. He says he wants to be that voice of the people that insists the facts drive the law that affects the lives of his fellow citizens in the 55th district.
It’s potentially a powerful message for orphaned Democrats whose concerns about doing the right thing for their communities have been abandoned by the lock-step politics of their party, which currently holds a supermajority in the state of California. It will be interesting to see just how disgruntled the West Side is this November, and whether Keith’s message reaches them.
His campaign website is at https://keithfor55.org/