Black Veteran GOP Challenger Has a Message for Democrats Who Voted for Maxine Waters


This is going to be a bad year to unseat incumbents, particularly when you consider the limited opportunities to campaign. It’s especially true when that incumbent is California Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters, a fixture in the Democrat firmament despite the fact she doesn’t seem terribly affixed to reality.

Waters was most recently in the news last week, when, as Fox News reported, she announced on the House floor that her sister is deathly ill with the coronavirus.  This is indeed a tragedy and our prayers are with her and her family.

However, Waters also has a challenger in her deep-blue district who has a message for everyone who keeps voting for one of the strangest and most corrupt individuals to ever stride the hallways of Congress.

And that challenger has a message: “We deserve better.”

At a demonstration Saturday across from Los Angeles City Hall, protesting the state and local governments’ handling of lockdowns to contain the coronavirus, Joe E. Collins III — a Navy veteran trying to end three decades of Waters treating her elected post as a sinecure — challenged Republicans “to stand up together and fight” against Waters in November’s election.

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In a video posted to his Twitter account on Saturday — the day of the protest — Collins said elected officials in California needed to answer for the shutdown.

“Right across the street from City Hall,” Collins said during the protest. “No disrespect to law enforcement for being out here and making sure everyone’s safe. But we need [Los Angeles Democrat Mayor Eric Garcetti] to answer for this.

Do you think Joe Collins has a future in politics?

“We need Gavin Newsom to answer for this. We need every single legislator in Los Angeles County to answer for this. Because this is ridiculous. We deserve better.

“But yet, they want to impeach President Trump,” Collins added. “At least he’s trying. He may not be perfect, but at least he’s trying to do something.”

Collins said it was time to vote Waters out “because we need to take care of our own people. Long gone are the days when we have politicians that just sit around and talk about what they’re gonna do. We need action.”

“We’re citizens of the United States. We live here in California. We deserve better,” he said. “Everybody in South Los Angeles is struggling, and we have to stand up and we have to tell them, no more.”

Collins, let’s be realistic here, ain’t going to win.

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In California’s March 3 jungle primary system — which determines who will go on to the November election by throwing them all in a massive field and taking the top two regardless of party — Collins finished second to Waters in March 3 voting. The problem is that Waters, according to The New York Times, had 78 percent of the vote, while Collins and another Republican split the rest of the other part.

California’s 43rd Congressional District contains part of Los Angeles County and almost none of it is traditional Republican territory. Perhaps Collins can win a few votes over from Waters supporters, but there aren’t going to be many.

On the other hand, Collins could very well make a name for himself in the politics of Southern California, which isn’t uniformly liberal. And he’s certainly got the biography for it.

In his biography for Ballotpedia, Collins described himself as “from South Central LA and has served 13 years in the U.S. Navy. With the help of the US Navy, he became a licensed financial professional and a Certified Counselor for rape and sexual assault victims.”

“Since already taking an oath to defend our country and its people, the decision to serve and defend those without a voice in California’s 43rd District, was one he would proudly make.

“Joe Collins upholds the Constitution of the United States of America and promotes fair treatment, equality, and respect for all citizens of our great country. America deserves a leader who will fight for its people and California needs a leader who will properly represent its people! Joe Collins will use his leadership skills he’s learned in the U.S. Navy to make a better America for everyone.”

It certainly provides a contrast to Waters, who’s better known for outlandish ramblings — including an incitement to confront Trump cabinet members — than providing any leadership in three decades in Congress.

I hate to be the spoiler, but he won’t win this time.

That said, I also doubt this’ll be the last time you hear his name — particularly as he pushes back on so many boxes in the identity politics narrative.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture