Senator Mendoza Seeks Senate Seat Without Party Support

Senator Mendoza

An attempt by ousted state senator Tony Mendoza to regain his position took a blow over the weekend when delegates for the Democratic party of California refused to endorse him as a candidate.

Mendoza had chosen just two days before the party’s decision to step down from his position rather than face expulsion after an investigation by the Senate determined that he had likely been guilty of sexually harassing half a dozen women during the last 10 years.

Mendoza gave thanks to delegates for casting their votes Saturday but did not make any further comments to them. Ten of the 45 delegates that cast votes did so in favor of Mendoza, while the 35 delegates that remained voted against an endorsement. Among those voting no to endorsing Mendoza included Anthony Rendon, Assembly Speaker, as well as Rendon’s wife.

Mendoza has chosen to continue the fight for his seat, however, saying those district voters will, in the end, be responsible for deciding the race for the Senate seat and not the delegates. Mendoza is hoping that in the more than three months he has remained until election time that he can make his case with these voters.

Noemi Tungui, who though not a delegate was present at the endorsement caucus, showed her disdain for Mendoza with an exclamation of “too much,” at finding out Mendoza had received ten votes from delegates. Mendoza said that she has been a victim of the same type of behavior exhibited by Mendoza in the past and showed her support for his victims with a #MeToo sign.

Tungui went on to say that it is “completely disgusting” for Mendoza to expect an endorsement from Democratic delegates after the investigation results were released. She also added that the Democratic party respects the rights of women and Mendoza’s quest for endorsement “makes no sense.”

Zenaida Huerta, a nineteen-year-old who took part in a program promoting leadership that was initiated by Mendoza while in high school, is a delegate that organized an effort to block a potential endorsement of the disgraced Senator. Huerta says that her efforts were not an attack against Mendoza personally but was a much broader statement expressing condemnation for elected officials that do not make proper use of the power granted to them

Huerta explains that the people of California deserve candidates that are just as right when it comes to the way they treat people as they are about political issues.