Major CA union endorses Democratic rival for Rep. Devin ‘The Memo’ Nunes’s seat

Photo: Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California, a major union in the state with more than 700,000 members, has endorsed Andrew Janz, one of the Democratic challengers to Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes in California's 22nd District.

Nunes has become a controversial national figure. Most recently, he made headlines for his infamously partisan “memo” that attempted to discredit the FBI and cast doubt on the validity of the Mueller investigation, but that accidentally did just the opposite.

Despite this and other controversies, Nunes’s seat has seemed safe. No Democrat has held the seat since Nunes first won it in 2002, and he won re-election in 2016 with 67.6 percent of the vote.

However, one recent poll shows Nunes with a far less decisive lead in his district of only five points. And Janz is shaping up to be a formidable opponent.

Janz is focused on capitalizing on the anti-Trump sentiment, portraying Nunes as a Trump pawn. While he’s not the only Democrat running against Nunes, Bloomberg’s Francis Wilkinson reported in February, “he seems to be the one who figured out how to capitalize on fear of Trump and loathing of Nunes.”

Janz, 34, is a deputy district attorney in Fresno County and has not previously run for office. “My message has been Devin Nunes is fooling around in Washington with all of his fake memo stuff while he should instead be working on issues that people care about back here at home,” Janz told Wilkinson.

SEIU California states that its focus for the 2018 elections will be on candidates who promise “to tackle structural racism, advance economic justice, stand up for immigrant rights and move California forward on environmental justice.”

In a political climate that in November 2017 saw a windfall of fresh-faced Democratic contestants winning nationwide, Nunes will need to take challengers like Janz a bit more seriously and be more careful with how he represents Californians — even in usually Republican-leaning country like Fresno County.