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Democrat files for Congress in CD-45

drew_leavensThis post is courtesy of the Irvine Democratic Club with an urgent call for signatures.  Drew Leavens is running for Congress in CD-45 and it’s a bit confusing as he was supposed to be challenging Darryl Issa in CD-49.  We’ve emailed the Irvine Democratic Club for clarity. And failing a response, I’ll find out when I go and offer my signature.

Many of you have been wondering if a good Democratic candidate would step forward to run for John Campbell’s Congressional seat (CA 45). The District includes Irvine, Lake Forest, RSM, Tustin, Coto de Caza, Laguna Hills, Villa Park and parts of Mission Viejo and Anaheim. 

We just learned that Drew Leavens, an active Democrat and therapist by profession is throwing his hat into the ring.  

Please come meet Drew and SIGN HIS FILING PAPERS TONIGHT (WEDNESDAY) from 5:45-7:00 p.m. on the patio at Stonefire Grill in the Crossroads Center at Barranca and Culver. PAPERS MUST BE FILED THURSDAY SO TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE! 

Spread the word and bring other signers. Irvine is the largest city in the District! Let’s make it clear right from the start that we don’t want Mimi Walters or John Moorlach representing us.  

Let’s not let this opportunity pass. If Democrats and progressive thinkers vote for real change, we have a shot. Walters and Moorlach will split the Republican vote. With an open seat, it’s time to seize this opportunity. 

Hope to see you tomorrow night. If you have friends in the other cities represented by Campbell, bring them too. 

Hope to see you all at our Sunday Dems of Greater Irvine meeting!

Now here’s Drew’s bio:

After college, Drew moved back to San Diego to take a job with what was originally the Department of Substance Abuse, later taken over by San Diego County Mental Health. He began working as a crisis counselor (1975). Two years later, he was made the manager of what became known as The Crisis Team. He supervised a staff of 22 counselors in the 24-hour a day operation, that had over 30,000 contacts each year. In the late 70’s, he received his marriage, family and child counseling license (MFCC) and soon after started a small private counseling practice. His first published article, “Suicide Intervention for First Responders” appeared in the book, Conflict Intervention in Social and Domestic Violence, edited by Carmen Warner (1981). While still manager of The Crisis Team, he was approached by Caltrans to assist in reducing the number of suicides off the Coronado Bridge. The collaboration resulted in signs posted along the bridge to let depressed individuals know that there were others who cared about them, along with a phone at the base of the bridge to reach The Crisis Team. The signs are still there today.

After working with the county for ten years, Drew left to form his own company, first called Drew Leavens and Associates, and soon renamed Specialized Training Services (STS), (1985). The company initially provided training to the county probation and sheriff’s offices throughout California but soon expanded to larger target audiences throughout the United States, Canada and Western Europe. Over time, STS developed a reputation of providing the highest quality training programs on very difficult topics such as sexual offender assessment, campus violence prevention, domestic violence, homicide, threat assessment in the workplace, terrorism, stalking, risk assessment of the mentally Ill and child custody evaluations. In 1992, Drew and STS were recognized for its outstanding seminars by receiving the “Excellence in Training” award from the International Association of Correctional Training Personnel.

For more than 28 years STS has provided over 1200 seminars and conferences to over 70,000 individuals. At the turn of the decade, STS began to publish books for professionals on important topics such as “Violence Risk and Threat Assessment”, “School Violence Threat Management” and “Workplace Assessment of Violence Risk” (WAVR-21) and “Children who Witness Homicide and other Violent Crime.” In addition to publishing six books, Drew was the editor of four of them. In 2011, STS coordinated a contract with the University of California, Office of the President, to provide workplace and campus safety and threat assessment training to each of the ten UC campuses. In 2013, STS worked with the United States Capital Police to provide training for their staff in Washington, DC on advanced threat assessment and threat management. The work of Specialized Training Services continues today (


  1. junior junior February 19, 2014

    “.. Drew Leavens, an active Democrat and therapist by profession is throwing his hat into the ring.”

    He’s going to need a therapist after getting his bell rung in the election.

    Maybe I should run against Loretta …..

  2. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski February 19, 2014

    Met Drew tonight. A very nice guy who has decided to run as the sole Democrat in CD 45. Could finish well as Dems won’t go for any of the Republicans on the ballot.

  3. Ed Ed February 20, 2014

    Drew is a great guy and we need a candidate in CD45. I wish him well. His run in the 45th may have something to do with Dave Peiser getting the official CA Dem endorsement to run against Issa in the 49th rather than Drew. Dave had the support of most of the local Democratic clubs. Running as a D in South OC is not about fighting in a lost cause. It is making sure everyone has a choice, and making the R’s work for every seat. Someday, OC will be blue and we need to at least push it in that direction.

  4. junior junior February 21, 2014

    The dems should run Paul Lucas in the 45th CD – then at least we know it would be entertaining.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | February 21, 2014

      Paul would probably be out of jail by then but voters in Irvine and Newport Beach would not support him.

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