In the wake of his May 2 arrest for drunk driving, politics have been watching for signs that Sen. Dave Min – formerly consider the front-runner on the Democratic side for the 47th Congressional District – would drop out of the race.
Min was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol in Sacramento after he ran a red light. He failed the field sobriety test and had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 – nearly twice the legal limit.
Min’s Democratic rival, progressive activist Joanna Weiss, began picking up endorsements from prominent Orange County Democrats. Weiss had already demonstrated solid fundraising muscle prior to Min’s arrest.
On May 23, additional dashcam footage of Min failing the field sobriety test was released:
Min appears to be trying to bull his way through the scandal, however. And instead of quitting the race, Min announced he is quitting drinking:
“I’ve stopped drinking and am receiving help and counseling,” Min wrote in a May 26 post on his Facebook page. “My hope is that I will emerge as a better husband, father and public servant.”
Whether Min will emerge as the Democratic nominee against GOP front-runner Scott Baugh appears to becoming a shakier proposition by the day. While Min has not publicly lost a significant endorsement, his campaign seems stalled while Weiss gains momentum.
Shortly after Min’s second mea culpa plea, Rep. Pete Aguilar, a fellow Californian and third ranking House Democrat, threw major shade on Min’s candidacy – castigating Min’s judgment and noting the candidate filing is still many moons away.
“The filing deadline is December…I think it was a terrible lapse in judgment, terrible decision making,” said Aguilar.
Min still has an arraignment coming up. If his next quarterly campaign fundraising report is anemic, it will be taken as a sign by Democratic-powers-that-be that Min’s campaign is too badly wounded to hold CA47 for the Democrats. If key endorsements begin abandoning his campaign, combined with bad fundraising numbers could precipitate a collapse and make it near impossible for Min to soldier on.
If he drops out, Min could still run for re-election to the state Senate. However, he would have to face-off against fellow Democrat Sen. Josh Newman and GOP Villa Park Councilmember Crystal Miles – neither of whom have been arrested for drunk driving – and other potential candidates.