California Sen. Alex Padilla is campaigning hard — just not for himself, as the Republican has been struggling to unify a fractured GOP field.
He’s running against Democratic Rep. Nanette Barragán of California, but he’s also running against his Democratic Party more generally.
In particular, Padilla is running on his record in Congress: He says he put more resources into national security and veterans’ issues than any other congressman during his time in Congress. He says it was a key reason he earned bipartisan support when he ran for re-election to a ninth term in 2018.
“So, let me be very clear. I gave everything I had, the time I had, the heart I had, to do something meaningful in support of our veterans,” Padilla said during his final campaign rally April 24 at a Sacramento park with the title “Let’s Go To War: With Trump and the Republicans.”
Padilla made the first of several stops at the park on April 24, where he was joined by his wife Lauren, their campaign manager, Brian Fung of The Sacramento Bee and political consultant Jamiel Shaw. The event’s topic was the importance of the military to the president and to the nation, and the rally also highlighted Padilla’s efforts to work with the president and his administration, including his support for veterans’ issues and a border wall.
Shaw told The Washington Post earlier this month that Padilla’s first legislative priority would be immigration reform.
Padilla has received more than $200,000 from the political action committee supporting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and money from the National Republican Congressional Committee and its House Majority PAC.
Democrats have accused Padilla of being out of touch as he works tirelessly to unify the GOP and oppose the president.
Padilla has worked to counter the Democratic attacks, with the help of his wife, as he’s put up a series of fundraising events across California and recently signed on to a fundraiser organized by California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna, a former San Francisco mayor and former aide to Vice President Biden.