Silicon Valley Rep. Ro Khanna to lead California’s delegation at the DNC
Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna speaks with San José Spotlight during an interview Friday at his Washington, D.C. office. Photo by Elizabeth Mendez.

California Democrats selected Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna to co-lead the state’s delegation at the Democratic National Convention in August.

“I’m proud to be co-leading the California delegation…” Khanna wrote Sunday on his Twitter page. “It should be clear that delegates stand for Medicare for All, free public college, an end to bloated military budgets and other policies championed by Bernie Sanders.”

Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis were also chosen to serve as co-chairs.

Although a Democratic governor would traditionally lead the state’s delegation, Gov. Gavin Newsom was surprisingly snubbed. However, in a statement on his Twitter page, Newsom wrote that he was proud the delegation will be chaired “by those who reflect the diversity and dynamism of our state.”

Former Ohio state legislator Nina Turner launched the effort to select Khanna earlier this month. In a video, which can be viewed on the Roots Action website, she says picking Khanna would show that the Democratic party is committed to including voices from the party’s progressive wing.

“Who better to stand in the ready position for all Californians when it comes to standing up for Medicare for All, fighting against Trump’s military budget, (or) understanding that the (working) people of this nation deserve so much more than what they get?” she said.

A progressive PAC founded by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters, called Once Again, also voiced support for choosing Khanna, who previously served as an advisor and national co-chair for Sanders’ presidential campaign. Once Again PAC Advisor Norman Solomon explained that party unity would be essential to defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election in a statement Thursday.

“Bernie Sanders brought new progressive energy and diversity to the party,” Solomon said. “The Biden campaign would be wise to incorporate many of his proposals into the platform.”

The DNC will start Aug. 17 in Milwaukee. But convention organizers announced June 24 that state delegations should plan on conducting their official convention business remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the DNC’s website. DNC standing committee meetings will also take place virtually.

Contact Katie King at [email protected] or follow @KatieKingCST on Twitter.

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