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On Wednesday, I sat down to speak with an energized U.S. Senate candidate, Republican Mark Meuser, who was fresh off his historic primary win last week.

“This was the first time in ten years that a Republican has been on the ballot for U.S. Senate in the state of California,” Meuser told me. “We did this despite the fact that there was a Democrat who decided to put $4 million of his own money into his campaign to try to split the Democrat vote so that there’d be two Democrats and no Republicans.” California’s “Jungle Primary” system is unusual because only the top two vote-getters regardless of party advance to the November ballot. In deep-blue California, this system more often than not results in two Democratic Party candidates running against each other in the November general election.

Consequently, not only is it a rarity that a Republican even got through the Jungle Primary for U.S. Senate, but if Meuser wins in November he’ll become the first Republican senator to be elected in California since the re-election of Pete Wilson way back in 1988. And that’s quite a feat in itself.

It’s a feat made even more remarkable considering the fact that, according to California law, Meuser had to get through not one but two races last week — one race to complete the remainder of the term left vacant by Kamala Harris’s departure for the White House plus one race for the next full six-year term. Meuser’s main opponent was incumbent Democrat Alex Padilla, who was appointed to Harris’s seat by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. To keep his seat, Padilla also had to run for the remainder of Harris’s term (November to January) as well as for re-election for the following six-year term.

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Meuser, however, was undaunted by the recent history of Republican candidates in the state. A seasoned Constitutional law attorney, business owner, and ranked Ironman triathlete, Meuser is used to a challenge. He ran a strong campaign based in part on the name recognition he built during his 2018 bid for secretary of State, which took the native Californian by bicycle to each of the 58 counties in the vast western state. His history of fighting to protect American liberties post-pandemic doesn’t hurt either.

In 2020, as the pandemic hit, Meuser saw unelected bureaucrats tyrannically dictating edicts through their so-called emergency powers and he sprang to action. “I was one of the leading attorneys in the nation fighting against COVID mandates,” he said. Such constitutional infringements led him to be “involved in 22 lawsuits brought against Newsom for his unconstitutional usurpation of power as a result of COVID-19.” Fighting for the rights of Californians and Americans is something Meuser feels strongly about, and it’s a topic that came up over and over again as he talked to many dissatisfied voters on the campaign trail who are fed up with both Newsom and Biden.

“Talking to people in the Hispanic community, the answer that I tend to get is that the Hispanics know that the Democrats no longer represent them, but…the Republican brand in the Hispanic community is not good here in California.” In contrast, Meuser says “Florida and Texas recognized their discontent with the Democratic Party, and campaigns have been actively reaching out to get the Republican message to them”–something he plans to do in California. Hispanics “don’t like these Democrat policies, but what they don’t know is what the Republican plan is, so it’s gonna be very important that we get our message out into the Hispanic communities,” said Meuser. “Because what we see is they are looking for solutions, but they don’t know where to go” because we haven’t gotten our message to them yet.

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Republicans must also reach those blue dog Democrats and independents who voted Democratic in 2020 but might be persuaded to vote Republican next time around. “Biden is trying to blame everybody but himself,” said Meuer. “He’s playing the blame game, but we know that Harry Truman said ‘the buck stops here,’ but with a progressive like Biden, he’s just pointing fingers at anybody and everybody but himself. And to be honest, it’s insulting to the intelligence of American voters.”

He continued: “It’s Biden’s administration who’s causing these oil and gas problems. We didn’t have the supply chain issues before him. We didn’t have baby formula problems because his administration refused to even show up and get the plant reopen. We didn’t have the poor [planning] problem under a Republican administration. It’s poor planning; it’s ‘you fail to plan, you plan to fail’” and we know right now Joe Biden is failing America.” Democrats are failing Americans and Democrats are failing Californians.

Another group being failed by the Democratic Party is parents. Because of COVID-19 “parents saw they had to take a more active role in their children’s education. And parents have seen that their children’s education is not preparing them for the future.” All across the country, but especially in California, “parents are more involved in their children’s education and they’re getting involved in school board races.” Meuser says the parents he talked to consistently told him “they’re going to be voting for candidates that are going to be fighting for their children’s education.”

Many traditional members of the so-called “Democratic base” are waking up to the woke progressive agenda behind every Democratic policy and they’re leaving the party in droves even in deep-blue California. “This November we are gonna see victories where nobody thought that a victory could be had,” a hopeful Meuser told me. “I think there’s gonna be a lot of surprises this November, even here in the state of California in congressional races and a couple of statewide races like [mine] where there’s going to be some surprises that most people didn’t see coming,” he said. Given what happened in recent elections in Virginia, New Jersey, Florida, and Texas Meuser may indeed be on to something here, but can he actually win in November? The short answer is yes.

Alex Padilla has shown he’s nothing but a rubber stamp for Newsom’s and Biden’s failed policies, which have wrecked the once-golden state, the economy, and, in turn, voters’ lives. So seeing how dissatisfied with the policies of the left a majority of people are right now, Meuser is an outstanding candidate whose time may have come. But in order to win here, Meuser is right that the GOP needs to reach those open blue dog Democrats, the independents, the engaged parents, the frustrated workers, and the fed-up voter groups with messaging that clearly explains how the Democrats are failing AND exactly how the Republicans will make their lives better with concrete, understandable plans.

Will it be easy? No, but like Meuser says, “We have a hard battle ahead of us, but the harder the battle the more glorious the victory”–and as history has shown, Meuser is not one to back down from a challenge.