A third legitimate candidate to oppose Dana

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Hans Keirstead: In the race

We don’t break much news here at crazydana.com, and I’m not even sure if this constitutes “breaking news” in the realm of Orange County politics. But it has been relayed by multiple sources that Hans Keirstead, a stem-cell biologist who worked at UC Irvine for nearly 1 1/2 decades and sold his Irvine-based California Stem Cell Inc. for $214 million, is entering the race to oppose Dana Rohrabacher in 2018.

Here’s part of his LinkedIn bio:

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This means we now have three serious candidates for next year’s election. There’s Harley Rouda, the local businessman who has the most momentum thus far. There’s Laura Oatman, the architect who entered a couple of months after Rouda.

And now there’s Keirstead.

I’ve dined with Harley, and I very much like/admire him. I’ve DMed with Laura and I very much like/admire her. But both suddenly have good reason to be concerned. Politics is about issues, yes. And politics is about making human connections, yes. And politics is about endorsements and rubber chicken dinners and handshakes and backslaps and resumes and appearances. Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Sadly, what politics is mostly about (at least electoral politics) is money. Lots and lots and lots and lots of money. As I noted in my last post, Rohrabacher will soon be hosting a $2,700-per-head fundraiser. And while I find this distasteful and an indictment of our system, I can’t blame the man. Survival in Congress means an every-other-year battle of contrition. It’s soul sucking and spirit draining, and it means always holding a hand out and begging for seconds. I neither like nor admired Dana Rohrabacher, but I can sympathize with this specific task. In short, it sucks.

Well, Hans Keirstead won’t have to beg or grovel or devote the majority of his hours to fundraising. He can easily afford the $500,000 (or so) it takes to run a competent congressional campaign; he can purchase all the ads he needs, and focus squarely on taking down the hollowed tree that is Dana Rohrabacher.

Does this mean he winds up the candidate? No. Positions matter; personas matter; mojo matters. There’s a long journey, and many wealthier men (and women) have found themselves poorer and with nothing gained.

But is Keirstead a legitimate threat?

Absolutely.

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