TJ Cox is an Asian American Democrat running for Congress against Republican George Radanovich in California’s 19th District. Democrats aren’t supposed to win in the 19th District, which was gerrymandered to be a safe Republican seat and voted 57.3 to 38.6 percent for Bush over Kerry in 2004.  But Cox is fighting hard and has won the endorsements of the Fresno/Modesto Bee, Esquire, and the daughter of former Rep. B.F. Sisk.

So in hopes of inspiring folks to spread the good word to their friends and family in the 19th District, here’s a little love for TJ Cox:

As Cox reveals in his interview, he supports stem cell research, he’s pro-choice, and he believes that “the two billion dollars a week spent in the Middle East is money that could be invested here at home on schools, roads and health care.”  
He’s slamming his opponent on bread and butter issues, talking about the need to control deficit spending and let the government negotiate for better prescription drug prices.  And he was a Howard Dean delegate in 2004 and praises Dean as “the only governor to balance his state’s budget while at the same time, provide health care to all of the children in his state.”

Also worth noting — Cox has a great first person journal at his website that gives a better sense of his background and motivations while providing an inside look at how a scrappy underdog and genuine outsider campaigns for Congress.  One great entry from 10.27:

In the evening, I was invited to a Fresno dinner event attended by more than 400 Filipino families who live within the district. When asked to make remarks, I told the crowd some stories about my grandmother, who was a native of the Philippines. During World War II, she was dismayed to discover that there was a segment of our troops that had no place to go for relaxation when they were off duty – no restaurants, clubs, anything. So my grandmother took it upon herself to open the first and only club for black soldiers in the Phillipines. She felt that all people should be treated equally. This sense of justice is a value that was instilled in me at an early age. By running for Congress, I hope to pass along that sense of duty, the responsibility to make a difference, to my children as well.

Long shot candidates like Cox have been largely ignored by pundits, the Party, and progressive bloggers — I don’t know if anyone’s run a single poll in Cox’s district.  And yes, Cox may lack some of the give-’em-hell firebrand attitude of some of our netroots favorites.  But his practical progressivism is a great match for his district and his presence in Congress would be a tremendous plus for us all.  And in a year as crazy as this, anything’s possible.  

So if you have friends in the Fresno/Modesto area, please take a minute to spread the word about TJ Cox.  At the very least, you’ll be building awareness about a leader who, even if he loses, may help transform the district in years to come.  At the most, you might just play a critical role in turning a long-shot campaign into the year’s most surprising upset.  

Click here for Cox’s official website.

Click here for the Fresno/Modesto Bee endorsement.

Click here for a DailyKos member’s 2005 description of the 19th District.

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