With Deep National Security Credentials, Andrew Grant Enters Calif. Seventh Congressional District Race

August 1, 2017 |

If the recent history in California’s Seventh Congressional District is any guide, the 2018 midterm election should be another close contest. In every election since 2010, the victor won by the narrowest of margins with the contest not decided until days later, and in 2012 not until over a month after Election Day.

In each of these races, the Democratic candidate has been Dr. Ami Bera. While Bera succumbed to incumbent Dan Lungren in 2010, in the three following elections Bera subsequently vanquished Lungren, former Congressman Doug Ose, and most recently Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones.

It is in this environment as one of the nation’s most competitive congressional districts that Andrew Grant has entered the race to challenge Democratic Bera. The Folsom Republican is the first candidate to enter the race to be one of two finalists to appear on the November 2018 general election ballot. 

In the lead up to next June’s primary where the two finalists will be determined regardless of party affiliation, Grant has started his campaign by meeting voter and various groups throughout the district.

Grant, a nine-year district resident and Bay Area native enters the race with an extensive military and national security resume. A 1995 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Grant rose to the rank of Captain in the Marines during his nine-year military intelligence career.

“I did two tours while in the service,” Grant said. “I did one tour in Kosovo and another in Afghanistan.”

After his military group, Grant remained in the national security apparatus taking a position with the U.S. State Department where he headed the Office of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) Terrorism.

“We went and worked with other countries to reduce the threat that terrorist could acquire and use WMD’s,” he said. 

Following his work with the State Department, Grant joined Homeland Security. That position brought Grant back to California to McClellan Air Park where he was a regional director for the natural disaster response teams establish following Hurricane Katrina.

For the last year Grant has been the Chief Executive Officer of the NorCal World Trade Center, a non-profit associated with the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the group, promotes international trade. Prior to his current position, Grant worked for Raley’s for five years in risk management.

With his extensive experience in government, Grant believes he can better serve the Seventh District
“Clearly, in my view, Congressman Bera doesn’t have the depth of experience I have in government to understand how agencies work to deliver the services back to the community,” Grant stated. “I don’t think he has the grasp not being a Veteran, not being a former diplomat like I am to understand the challenges in international affairs and national security.”

Grant went on to say based on Bera’s questioning during committee hearings he does not understand the complexities of government agencies, and this results in fewer services for the district.  

When asked how he would measure his success if he were elected to Congress, Grant said one gauge would be his ability to have federal resources relocated to the district. One example would be to relocate FEMA’s district office in Oakland, which he noted lies above the Hayward fault, to Sacramento. 

When it comes to national issues, Grant believes the two most pressing issues facing the country are business competitiveness and international relations. Specifically, Grant pointed to regulatory and tax relief as ways of encouraging economic growth.    

“On a macro level we have become a less competitive country,” he asserted. “There are a lot of costs burdening business, there a lot of costs burdening employees.

In his discussions, Grant said he often hears the comments that a significant portion of paychecks is consumed by an ever increasing tax obligation. Along with higher costs for things such as higher health insurance premiums and stagnant wages, Grant said need to be addressed.

Regarding international relations, Grant supports a continued robust presence of the United States on the world stage. Among the areas of concern are the Syrian and the Middle East, as well as North Korea, specifically China’s role in the relationship.

“These are significant things where America’s role in the world has been reduced in my opinion,” he said. “We haven’t supported democracy as much as we should, we haven’t supported our allies as we should. We have let a lot of things slip.” 

If elected, Grant said he would like to be involved in strengthening the role of the United States on a global basis. “Congress has a role,” he noted.  

Currently, Grant is the only announced challenger to Bera. In California elections, the top two finishers, regardless of party affiliation, in primary races will compete in the November election.

With about 10 months to the primary and 15 months to the general election, Grant has been reaching out to voters in the district and has started fund raising efforts. Although he has not opened a campaign office, he hopes to in the coming months.

“I would love to open up an office in Elk Grove,” he added. 

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