Buena Park, CA The Phil Janowicz for Congress Campaign today released the following statement on his campaign for California’s 39th Congressional District:
“After looking at the results of last night’s special election in Pennsylvania and Conor Lamb’s excellent performance, as well as stunning upsets from Virginia to Alabama, we as Democrats should be emboldened that Republicans are on notice all over country. Districts that we once thought out of reach are flipping across the country as voters embrace the “blue wave.”
I undertook this race almost a year ago with a desire to serve my community. As a teacher, after watching my students and their families struggle with rising tuition and cost-of-living, I wanted to help my students in real ways that I couldn’t inside the classroom. So I rolled up my sleeves, laced up my shoes, and went to work.
I was humbled by the outpouring of support I received. Energized volunteers, local elected officials, and community leaders across the district embraced our grassroots campaign to retire Royce, flip the 39th, and bring fresh leadership to Washington. There was no event too small, no meeting unimportant, and no fired-up group of local activists I didn’t accept. I was the first candidate to announce in this race and have believed wholeheartedly in embracing our collective energy and turning it into real momentum for change. I knew that the only way to really flip this seat was to go out and meet voters, listen to their stories, and show them that principled, local leadership was what we needed to flip this seat and bring real representation to the district.
Then, we celebrated what should be considered a triumph by local grassroots activists – the retirement of Ed Royce. A longtime Congressman – looking at a daunting re-election campaign, an unpopular President, and a district that was shifting underneath him – decided to leave instead of facing an energized progressive base in November.
However, this retirement created new complications under California’s jungle primary system. The prospect existed that too many Democratic candidates could shut us out entirely from the ballot in November. The chance to flip this seat, just as we’ve seen with so many across the country, is very real, but is also difficult based on sheer math. It is with this in mind, that I announce I will not be completing the filing process and therefore will not be on the ballot for the June primary.
This was not an easy decision to make, especially with the huge outpouring of community support and encouragement we have received across the district and the immense amount of time and energy our volunteers and staff have already put into this race over the last year. But the most important thing we can all do together is make sure a Democratic candidate makes it past the primary and competes to flip this seat in November.
To my fellow Democratic candidates, I encourage all of you to get to know this great community you wish to represent. Money and endorsements alone won’t win this race in June or November, and I hope you will meet folks in the district face-to-face, hear their stories, and truly understand the diverse and vibrant neighborhoods of the 39th District.
To everyone who supported, endorsed, volunteered, opened up their living room, or took time to attend an event, my most sincere thanks. I’m truly humbled by the support I have received and for everyone who has believed in our campaign. To my wife, Angie, who helped me every day navigate the ups and downs of campaign life, I’m especially thankful. To those who volunteered for our campaign, I encourage you to continue to support local Democratic candidates and causes. We have many challenges and races, including stopping the recall of my friend Senator Josh Newman, and numerous state legislative, city council, and school board candidates we must support. All of this together, will help us create a giant and lasting blue wave across Orange County, LA County, the Inland Empire, and beyond.
I promise to stay engaged and practice what I preach. I will keep my shoes laced up and my phone charged to do everything I can to help elect great Democrats up and down the ballot in June and November and will continue to serve my community any way that I can, now and in the future.”
About Phil: Phil Janowicz is President and CEO of Quill & Abacus, an education consulting firm focused on narrowing the opportunity gap for first-generation and low-income students. He formerly taught chemistry at CSUF. There, he founded the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program for Chemistry, which provides extra instruction, mentoring, and support for students. Recent polling shows him leading the Democratic field for the June primary. He lives in Buena Park with his wife, Angela, a native of Rowland Heights and an English Teacher at Fullerton College. They have two dogs, Molly and Jasmine, and a cat named Arya.