Margee Ensign likely to enter race
POSTED BY Scott Restivo, www.abettercongress.org
I met with Margee Ensign yesterday, and she indicated it is "very likely" she will enter the race for the 11th Congressional District of California. She plans to form an exploratory commission in the next week or so, and then formally announce by Nov. 17th. Of course, nothing is official until it's official. But from my talk with her, she wants to run and is taking the necessary steps to formally enter the race.
Margee Ensign is Dean of the School of International Studies at the University of Pacific in Stockton. She has big name recognition and respect in the Valley. She is an accomplished woman, very bright, energetic, and intelligent. She is on top of the issues locally, nationally, and internationally in ways that I have not seen in the other candidates, or even Pombo for that matter.
My opinion has always been that a successful candidate must come out of the Central Valley. A strong candidate must be known as someone who has contributed to and worked hard for the Stockton area community. Ensign, as Dean, has certainly done this. Her work at the International Studies institute has benefited Stockton. She has been actively involved in the community. Also, she writes a column in the Stockton Record, plus hosts a cable TV show, " The Real Reality", through the Peace and Justice Network of San Joaquin (www.pjnsjc.org).
She presented me with some real concerns about the Valley -- high poverty, high infant mortality, air pollution, degraded water quality, high asthma rates, poor educational system, lack of high-end jobs.
And my sense is that these are not some campaign consultant's suggestions, derived after polling. These are not soundbites she concocted to win votes. Instead, I see that her concern for the Valley comes out of her heart, as a mother, as a citizen, as a community leader, and as a person living there. She sincerely cares about the people of the Valley and the quality of life there. That was my sense in talking with her, and I think when others hear her speak, they will feel this too.
I believe she could inspire voters both old and young with a positive vision for the Valley's future. An energizing, inspiring candidate is something I have not yet seen in this race, and why it has been so lackluster. I have worked with Jerry McNerney, I have heard Steve Filson speak, but, with all due respect, they are not in the same league.
Both Filson and McNerney also lack the strong Central Valley connections and presence.
In short, my take is that Margee Ensign cares about the community, is involved in it, and has a passion to make it better. She has the professional qualifications and experience to run for Congress. And she has the strongest potential of anyone I have seen so far to present a positive view of the Valley's future, to inspire voters, and to beat Pombo.
Friends, if she does officially enter the race, we will have a contender!
PS: She is speaking at Diablo Valley College on Nov. 17th, I believe, as well as making another East Bay appearance soon. I will send/post details once I hear more on these appearances.