Although the victory of Republican State Sen. John Campbell in California’s 48th District (Orange County) was expected, the big news in the special election was the showing of American Independent Party candidate Jim Gilchrist. Running almost exclusively on a platform of securing the border with Mexico and opposing the Bush Administration’s guest-worker program, Gilchrist, a co-founder of the border-guarding Minutemen, drew 25% of the vote—just behind Democrat Steve Young’s 28% … Campbell pulled 45%.
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R.-Colo.), easily the most outspoken opponent of illegal immigration in Congress, broke party lines to cut a hard-hitting TV commercial on behalf of Gilchrist. The special election was necessitated by the resignation of Rep. (1988-2005) Christopher Cox (R.-Calif.) to become chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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