Encouraging news from the Left Coast as Dan Schnur announced he’s running as an independent for California Secretary of State (@4Schnur). Schnur is a political pro, campaign reformer, well-known professor, former GOP consultant (now unaffiliated), former head of CA Fair Political Practices Commission and a really smart, centrist-oriented guy.
I’m thrilled to see him running as an independent (or, in California parlance, “No Party Preference”). With Cali’s top-two primary system in play, he’s got a real shot at making the general, attracting middle-leaning voters from both parties — and greatly benefitting the cause of a rising center/independent movement in American politics.
He’s hiring a bi-partisan team of consulting pros, is well known in every political circle in CA and nationally and has the smarts to run the right campaign. Can he raise enough dough for traditional broadcast campaigning? Questionable. But he’ll figure out how to get every scrap of freebie coverage and knows how to play well in social space.
Love this line from his interview with LA Times around the announcement:
“I tell my students that the politicians of both parties tend to set up in the end zones, 100 yards apart,” he said. But in politics, unlike football, the work gets done and the victories happen between the 40-yard-lines. That space is virtually empty in California politics, and it needs to be repopulated.”
Spot on. That’s exactly the point we here at The Center Wins will continue to argue. (I would quibble that the midfield lines are wider – closer to being between the 30’s instead of the 40’s — but the point’s the same). For too long the political end zones have been getting the headlines, setting the issue agendas and waging partisan war with each other as the broad political middle gets kicked to the sidelines — forgetting that, in the end (general elections), it’s the middle/center that picks winners and losers.
And of course this isn’t just about California politics.
The center will continue to rise as opportunities for political/electoral success spread. Voters of all stripes fed up with the continued ineffectual hyperpartisanship in Washington and in state legislatures combined with election reforms like top-two (or four) primaries, competitive redistricting and the recruitment of competitive, centrist, independent candidates can provide even more momentum to the cause.
Godspeed, Dan Schnur.