Fullerton, CA, January 24 — After announcing his congressional candidacy two weeks ago, Democratic Party stalwart Jay Chen has begun to consolidate the field and earned the endorsement of Julio Castañeda. Castañeda’s announcement to drop out of the race for California’s 39th congressional seat and endorse Chen came at this evening’s Candidate Forum.
As an independent, Castañeda is—like many Americans—frustrated with both parties in Congress. This endorsement demonstrates Chen’s ability to garner support from independents, who will be a key voting group in the race for CA-39. At the same time, Castañeda’s backing demonstrates the appeal Chen has among progressives in the district, as Castañeda is also an enthusiastic supporter of Bernie Sanders.
“I am honored to receive Julio’s support,” said Chen of the endorsement. “I deeply respect his commitment to progressive ideals like revitalizing our education system to give every child a fair shot in life, and finding ways to make our healthcare system work for everyone. Julio’s desire to faithfully represent the men and women of this district is exactly the type of leadership I plan to provide.”
Castañeda’s experience in the US Army and Air Force informed his decision to endorse Chen. “Because of his time with the Navy Reserves, I know that Jay understands the importance of national security,” Castañeda said. “Not only that, but he will be a tremendous advocate for our veterans, who deserve nothing but our respect and care. And I’m confident Jay will continue my fight for Medicare for all—an issue about which I’m extremely passionate.”
Beyond their shared military experience, both candidates have business experience that will resonate with voters in the district: Chen worked at Bain & Company, a leading consulting firm before starting his own real estate company in 2004; Castañeda serves as a Business Systems Analyst specializing on IT healthcare-related projects, including Obamacare state exchanges.
Earlier this week Chen earned the coveted endorsement of the Stonewall Democratic Club, which has been the home for progressive Democrats in Los Angeles. The endorsement of Castañeda and Stonewall Democratic Club solidifies Chen as the clear choice of the progressive branch of the Democratic party, and the likely Democratic nominee.
Click here for the video.