John Estrada is no stranger to politics, or the two major political parties for that matter.
In 1994 he ran for Congress as a Republican. In 1998, he ran as a Democrat. He lost both times.
Since then, he’s explored various congressional runs as a Democrat, and even considered running for president in 2004.
Now, Estrada says he’ll run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Barbara Boxer. And this time, he’ll run as a Republican.
“There’s a lot of reasons (to run),” the 58-year-old Fresno resident said. “The biggest reason is that our state and nation is going in the wrong direction. I have some ideas how to improve that and I'm working very hard to put that message out there.”
Estrada has never run statewide and isn’t well known in Republican circles, but he insists he can raise the needed cash — his first fundraiser is scheduled March 7 in Madera — and can also be competitive.
“The difference between other Republicans and me,” Estrada said, “I have 30 years working with the Latino community.”
He’s filed his initial paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission.
So far, the only other declared candidate is state Attorney General Kamala Harris, a Democrat. Other Democrats, as well as Republicans including Assembly Member Rocky Chavez of Oceanside, are exploring a possible run.