U.S. Congress candidate accuses party of racism

Posted at 08/08/2009 7:35 AM | Updated as of 08/04/2010 8:30 PM

FAIRFIELD, CA—Tiffany Estrella Attwood is running for U.S. Congress, for the district representing Solano, Sacramento, and Contra Costa Counties, heavily populated by Filipinos.  The primary election is next month, but she has barred from the three debates.  Attwood claims she registered for the ballot early enough.  Election officials say her registration did not make the deadline but she can run as a write-in candidate.

Attwood and her supporters protested during the latest debate.  Attwood and her supporters claim racial discrimination is the reason why she is barred from debating.

“The excuse this time is logistics.  I’m not buying that excuse!  I need to be heard, and the only way I’m going to be heard is if I’m an active participant at debates.  It is unjust to not let me in,” Attwood told her supporters.

14 registered candidates are vying for the seat Ellen Tauscher vacated when she joined the Obama Administration.  Democrat party officials in Solano County say race was never a factor.

“She was on my list at the last minute because we thought she was registered,” said Dan Healy, chair of the Solano Democratic Central Committee.  “It turned out something happened and she wasn’t qualified, so we had to tell her ‘sorry, this is just for candidates fully qualified to get on the ballot.”

Healy says Attwood's campaign has not confronted him on the race issue, and Attwood's campaign has not yet filed a formal complaint.  The campaign says it will continue to protest debates until Attwood can participate.  Several debates are scheduled throughout the district.