California 4th District election preview: Tom McClintock vs. Brynne Kennedy

  • Six-term Rep. Tom McClintock will face Democrat Brynne Kennedy in California’s 4th Congressional District. 
  • The district is located in east-central California and is home to all of the counties of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorade, Maripose, and Tuolumne. 
  • The two candidates were chosen through California’s “top-two primary” system which places the top two candidates in the state’s primary on the November ballot, regardless of party.
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Six-term incumbent Rep. Tom McClintock will square off against Democratic challenger Brynne Kennedy in November in California’s 4th Congressional District.

California currently has a “top-two primary” system, meaning that the top two winners of the primary election go on the final ballot, regardless of their political party.

The candidates

McClintock is a former California state assemblyman and state senator, positions he held for a total of 12 years. Before running for a position in the U.S. House of Representatives, McClintock ran for the office of state controller in 1994 and 1992, governor in the 2003 recall gubernatorial election, and lieutenant governor in the 2006 gubernatorial election, losing in every single one. 

In Congress, McClintock serves on the House Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Natural Resources, focusing many of his efforts on natural resource issues important to California. McClintock has sided with President Donald Trump 88% of the time in his voting record since 2017, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Kennedy is a former United States gymnast and business owner of the software company Topia. She is a former columnist for the Financial Times and is the author of a book on employee mobility. Her campaign is focused on strengthening the Affordable Care Act, combatting wildfire threats, and modernizing the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

In 2018, McClintock defeated Democratic challenger Jessica Morse by eight percentage points, 54% to 46%, in the general election. 

The district

California’s 4th Congressional District is located in an entirely inland part of east-central California, stretching down from Truckee and South Lake Tahoe in Northern California down to the area outside of Fresno. 

It is home to all of the counties of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, and Tuolumne as well as parts of Placer, Fresno, Madera, and Nevada counties. The district is home to some of California’s finest scenery and natural beauty, containing the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Sequoia National Forest.

In the 2016 presidential election, the 4th District voted for Trump over Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in a 54-39 percentage point split of the vote, according to the Daily Kos.

The money race

Kennedy has narrowly outraised and outspent McClintock, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Kennedy has brought in $1.4 million, spent $1.1 million, and has over $356,000 in cash on hand. McClintock has raised $1.35 million, spent $932,000, and currently has about $646,000 left to spend as the November election approaches. 

What experts say

The race between McClintock and Kennedy is rated as “safe Republican” by Inside Elections and “likely Republican” by the Cook Political Report

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Democrat-turned-Republican Van Drew trails Amy Kennedy in New Jersey House race: poll

Democratic-turned-GOP Rep. Jeff Van DrewJeff Van DrewThe Hill’s Campaign Report: 19 years since 9/11 | Dem rival to Marjorie Taylor Greene drops out | Collin Peterson faces fight of his career | Court delivers blow to ex-felon voting rights in Florida The Hill’s 12:30 Report: First Kennedy to lose a Massachusetts election Ex-Democrat Van Drew speaks at GOP convention MORE (N.J.) is trailing Democrat Amy Kennedy in the race for New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, according to a Monmouth University poll released on Monday. 

Forty-nine percent of registered voters polled said they supported Kennedy, while 44 percent said they backed Van Drew in the South Jersey district. 

The same poll showed Kennedy leading in high voter turnout and low voter turnout scenarios as well. Kennedy beat Van Drew 50 percent to 44 percent in a high voter turnout scenario and 51 percent to 44 percent in a low turnout scenario. 

Additionally, Kennedy holds a bigger lead among Democrats than Van Drew does with Republicans. Ninety-four percent of Democrats said they supported Kennedy while 89 percent of Republicans said the same about Van Drew.

Kennedy is a former teacher and mental health advocate. She announced her candidacy in January, calling Trump and Van Drew “symptoms of a bigger sickness infecting our country and our politics.” 

Van Drew became a prime target for Democrats earlier this year when he announced that he would oppose President TrumpDonald John TrumpQuestions remain unanswered as White House casts upbeat outlook on Trump’s COVID-19 fight White House staffers get email saying to stay home if they experience coronavirus symptoms White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters MORE‘s impeachment and that he was leaving the Democratic Party for the Republican Party. He won his seat as a Democrat in 2018. 

The congressman explained his party-switch at the Republican National Convention in August. 

“I was elected to Council as a Democrat, but as I won seats for county office, state legislature and then Congress, I noticed things were changing — the Democrat Party had become less accepting of American tradition, less believing in American exceptionalism, less supportive of traditional faith and family,” he said. “This was not the party that I knew.” 

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race as a “toss-up.”

The Monmouth University poll was conducted on from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1 among 588 voters in New Jersey’s second congressional district. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.  

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James Kennedy, Raquel Leviss’ Los Angeles Home’s Fall Decor

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The season just changed, and so did the decor at Raquel Leviss and James Kennedy’s Los Angeles apartment. The Vanderpump Rules couple, who live together with their pooch Graham Cracker, have been showing off their progress as they deck out their house for fall. And by now, the space looks about as autumnal as a pumpkin spice latte tastes. 

In her Instagram Stories, Raquel has been sharing the decor installation —and it’s clear that she and James are feeling the Halloween spirit. The duo has an illuminated pumpkin and miniature witch cauldrons along the windowsill in their living room, and a corner table by their TV has a spooky little ghost and another prop pumpkin. 

Elsewhere, a trio of owls hovers over a “Trick or Treat” sign, and yet another pumpkin-themed installation features a glass and ceramic version of the festive gourd. (There’s also a sign that reads: “Pumpkin Patch.”) And finally, new string lights on the bedroom ceiling will make Halloween night glow spookily bright. 

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Rose Garden History: Jackie Kennedy Oversaw 1962 Design

Rose Garden History Jackie Kennedy


Jacqueline Kennedy with John F. Kennedy Jr./White House Rose Garden renovation.

The Rose Garden has been an iconic part of the White House grounds throughout Presidential history, but its 1962 design under the Kennedy Administration and First Lady Jackie Kennedy laid the blueprint for decades to come.

First Ladies played varying roles in the rose garden, which was formally named in 1913 following a redesign by First Lady Ellen Wilson in 1902. Throughout the years, it has housed stables, greenhouses and carriages. Even before it was formally named, the most common feature of the garden was roses. The 1962 design was completed under the direction of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and designed by Rachel Lambert Mellon, a friend of the Kennedys. Read about First Lady Melania Trump’s redesign of the rose garden and see before and after photos here.

“Twenty years have gone by. The Rose Garden has seen administrations come and go,” Mellon wrote in an essay about the garden in 1983. “It is now known the world over. It has fulfilled John F. Kennedy’s vision of a garden that would endure and whose atmosphere, with the subtlety of its every changing patters, would suggest the every changing pattern of history itself.”

Here’s what you need to know:

A Magnolia Tree at the Rose Garden Dated Back to Andrew Jackson & More Were Added Under the Kennedy Administration

Magnolia trees were a highlight of the White House rose garden for decades, and more were added in the 1962 renovation. Before its design under the Kennedy administration in 1962, a magnolia tree dating back to Andrew Jackson stood near the oval office. Designer Rachel Lambert Mellon was commissioned by John F. Kennedy to complete the project in 1961.

“I vividly remember my first impression of the scene and the setting for the projected garden. The White House proper seemed exceptionally tall where it joined the long, low colonnade that linked it to the Oval Office and Cabinet Room. There were no trees near this wing or the corner by the White House, except for Andrew Jackson’s tall, dark Magnolia grandiflora near the South Portico. Beneath the magnolias was a long semicircular white bench on which Perry Wheeler and I sat facing the President’s office,” Mellon wrote in an essay.

While she was trying to determine ideas for the project, she came across magnolia trees in New York and became inspired, according to her essay.

Rose Garden Before & After

GettyUS President Barack Obama walks around the Rose Garden under a colorful Magnolia tree on the way to the Oval Office of the White House April 10, 2014 after he returned from his two-day trip to Texas. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mellon wrote:

After that first impression of the garden and my talk with the President,

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