Democrats elected Assembly District-level party delegates at caucuses over the weekend and -- no surprise in the Obama era -- there were a lot of activists competing for the posts and many of the winners were fairly new faces to party politics who became engaged while volunteering for the Obama campaign.
The best example of that was in the 35th Assembly District. Four of the 12 winners were UCSB students -- two undergraduates and two graduate students. All the winners were from Santa Barbara County, and 10 of the 12 will become first-time delegates to the California state party conventions..
Jay Kapitz of Oak Park, the only candidate from Ventura County in the 41st Assembly District, finished first in the balloting. For Kapitz, this will be his third term as a party delegate, but he said the dynamics have clearly changed. "Activists came out of the woodwork during the Obama campaign," he told me, "and they have stayed out of the woodwork."
One measure of that: Kapitz has organized a dinner in Washington, D.C., next week for an estimated 50 activists from Ventura County who will be attending the inauguration.
In the Ventura County-dominated 37th District, among the winners was Roni Flowers of Thousand Oaks, a newcomer to party politics who earned rave reviews from local Democrats for her performance as a deputy regional field organizer and phonebank coordinator for Obama for America. Most of the others have been active for a least a few years in local Democratic clubs, including: Joan and Ron Adams, Susan Boloorchi, Kim Stephenson and David Maron, all of the Camarillo Democratic Club; Judy Avery Smith, Deborah Birenbaum, William Carter and Celofas Navarro of the Conejo Democratic Club. Also on the winning slate were Sean Keenan of the Ojai Democratic Club and Paul Markowitz from the San Fernando Valley portion of the district.