Sacramento News & Review: Matsui’s next generation of opponents in Sacramento’s District 7

CA-7 Congressional candidate Jimmy Fremgen Q&A

Congressional redistricting significantly rearranged Sacramento County’s two Congressional districts. Instead of the current city-suburb split, the county will next year feature the new northern CA-6 and the southern CA-7. Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D) chose to run in the southern CA-7. The district is highly Democratic, voting 66.1% for Biden in 2020 and 65.5% against the 2021 Newsom recall, and its 21.1% Asian-American voting base would appear to be a great advantage for the 77-year-old incumbent.


However, 47% of voters in the district have never been represented by Matsui. Likewise, of voters who pulled a Democratic primary ballot in the March 2020 presidential primary, 47% voted for either of the two leading Progressive candidates: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Enter Progressive Democratic candidate Jimmy Fremgen.


The 33-year-old is currently a Sacramento-area public school teacher and former Congressional staffer well-versed in policy. While on Capitol Hill, he worked for former Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. His top issues include the economy, homelessness, Medicare for All, and gun violence prevention. In contrast to Matsui, he has also pledged to take no corporate PAC money. (Note: Matsui’s campaign did not reply to offers for their own Q&A....


SACTO POLITICO: What was your main motivation for running?

JIMMY FREMGEN: I am running because regular people are struggling. They’re not getting the same kind of support as big businesses, and we are being pushed out of the middle class. As the wealth gap is widening, we have inflation increasing and corporations posting record profits. But none of the costs that are increasing with inflation are affecting corporate profits, but it is hitting the wallets and pocketbooks of teachers and bartenders and shift workers. Our current representative doesn’t understand what that is like. She’s far too disconnected from our lives here.

We are forced to make choices between buying beef or chicken. Having to save money on staples. During the pandemic, I stopped shaving with a Gillette razor because I couldn’t afford the cartridges. I went to a straight razor with straight-edge razor blades because it was cheaper and that was a place for me to save money. There are lots of people who are having to make similar kinds of decisions because they don’t know if they are going to get that pay raise they desperately need.

One of the problems we have with Congress as a whole – and with Sacramento’s current representatives – is because campaigns have become so expensive, members of Congress have been captured by their corporate donors. These are the very same organizations our Congressional representatives are supposed to be regulating. But if you ask somebody for thousands of dollars to run your campaign but then are expected to hold them in the sunlight and ask hard questions, at some point selfishness is going to win out and you’re going to take it easy on your donors who are invested in keeping you [in office].


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