Democrats sparred this past weekend at San Jose McEnery Convention Center, host of this year’s state party convention. The three-day event—basically Comic-Con for political nerds—branded the GOP broken in the lead up to Donald Trump’s likely nomination, but it appears Dems are also going through a bit of an identity crisis, as factions split over Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. In the lead up to the keynote speech by Vice President Joe Biden, contenders for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barbara Boxer—Rep. Loretta Sanchez and CA Attorney General Kamala Harris—delivered back-to-back pitches to delegates. Sanchez rambled along with hand gestures and expressions similar to right-wingin’, gun-slingin’ Sarah Palin, and even had a bizarre “9/11 was bad” moment. Harris ended her speech to a standing ovation and won the party's endorsement in a landslide. The main event did not go without controversy. As Biden spoke passionately about the passing of his late son, Beau, a heckler interrupted the veep claiming that a cell phone caused the tumor that killed Biden’s son. The audience booed but Biden gracefully told the room: “Thank you, but that’s alright. It’s okay...my son Beau would have loved that part...Let’s not act like Republicans.” Rep. Mike Honda’s supporters also created tension by passing out anti-Ro Khanna literature portraying him as a puppet of corporate interests. Honda’s people claimed to have no role in the distribution, but the irony wasn’t lost on delegates aware of Honda’s ongoing pay-to-play ethics probe. Ultimately, Honda bested Khanna to receive the party endorsement. The battle for party backing in the 27th Assembly District race was contested by Andres Quintero, who challenged a pre-endorsement for Ash Kalra. Quintero oddly claimed victory after no one got the nod. Assm. Nora Campos provided the biggest shocker, telling people she will challenge Sen. Jim Beall for his seat this year, rather than wait until 2020. It should be hilarious and terrifying all at once.
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