The political director of Rep. Mike Honda’s campaign has quit, telling supporters the 17th Congressional District’s competitive nature “will require and deserve an increasingly greater commitment of time and energy.”
Lamar Heystek wrote that he’s choosing instead “to begin devoting more time and energy to my wife, our son and the family we look forward to growing together,” as well as starting a new job as program development officer at ASIAN Inc., a San Francisco nonprofit working on behalf of Asian Americans and other minorities in areas such as business development, housing and financial education.
It sounds like there’s no bad blood between Heystek, 35, of San Francisco, and Honda, D-San Jose. “My faith and confidence in him and his campaign have been unshakable. He is an outstanding public servant and a great friend who will continue to receive my support and assistance.”
Campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show Honda’s campaign has been paying Heystek $6,000 per month.
Heystek, a former Davis councilman, departs as the 17th District race shifts into even higher gear for the sprint toward June 3’s top-two primary. Fellow Democrat Ro Khanna’s challenge has been making headlines for almost a year; Republican Vanila Singh got into the race at the start of 2014; and two other Republicans – Joel Vanlandingham and Vinesh Singh Rathore – entered the race just before this month’s candidacy filing deadline.
Honda campaign spokesman Vivek Kembaiyan said Wednesday that Heystek has been an important part of the campaign since joining it in 2011, helping to run its multi-lingual voter outreach and laying the groundwork for Honda’s overwhelming Democratic Party endorsement.
“Lamar’s departure from the campaign, so he can spend more time with his growing family, has been in the works for months and the transition has been smooth,” Kembaiyan said. “We miss seeing Lamar everyday, but thanks in part to his dedication and hard work, Congressman Honda’s campaign is in its strongest position ever and we are continuing full speed ahead into the primary.”
Read Heystek’s entire email, after the jump…
Dear friends and colleagues,
I hope this message reaches you well. I am writing to let you know that I have decided to make a transition in my professional life — with a heavy heart, I am moving on from my position as Congressman Mike Honda’s Political Director.
Due to the competitive nature of the race for the 17th Congressional District, the Mike Honda for Congress campaign will require and deserve an increasingly greater commitment of time and energy from its staff and supporters. With the 2014 California Democratic Party convention a week behind us, I am taking this opportunity to begin devoting more time and energy to my wife, our son and the family we look forward to growing together. I am taking on a new role as Program Development Officer for ASIAN, Inc., whose offices are within walking distance of my home and whose mission is close to my heart. Please take a moment to show your support for my transition by “liking” ASIAN, Inc. on Facebook.
Lenine Umali will begin assuming my duties on Tuesday, March 25. In the meantime, please continue keeping in touch with Congressman Honda’s campaign staff online at www.mikehonda.com, by e-mail at email@example.com and by phone at (408) 641-1717.
Since I began working with Congressman Honda in December 2011, my faith and confidence in him and his campaign have been unshakable. He is an outstanding public servant and a great friend who will continue to receive my support and assistance. I am proud of the work Congressman Honda, his campaign team and I have done together — and I am fully confident in the talent and experience of the colleagues I leave behind, especially our campaign manager, Doug Greven; I know they have what it takes to achieve victory. I hope you will continue to be a part of their important work, as will I — Congressman Mike Honda’s continued progressive leadership, locally and nationally, as well as his continued success delivering for his district, are needed now more than ever before.
Going forward, please feel free to contact me at this e-mail address, and please consider keeping in touch with me via Facebook and Twitter. I look forward to seeing you at Congressman Honda’s fundraiser with George Takei on Thursday the 20th, as well as Congressman Honda’s canvassing kickoff at his headquarters on Saturday the 22nd (more details to come from the campaign).
It has been a true honor working with you — thank you for all you’ve done and continue to do for Congressman Honda and his campaign!