Republican Assembly candidate confronts prejudice in GOP

shahab_treeDo you remember Adnan Shahab? He’s the Republican running for the Assembly seat Alberto Torrico will be vacating this year. He enjoys carrying his unloaded firearms to coffee shops, and although he’s not particularly religious, he is the son of a Muslim man from Pakistan and a Catholic woman from the Philippines.

He sent me an e-mail today saying that he’s ending his signature drive to get his name on the ballot after a volunteer woman , who wears traditional Muslim attire, knocked on the door of an unfriendly Republican.

Here’s an excerpt from Shahab’s blog:

I received a call this morning from one of the volunteers who has been out gathering signatures to get my name on the ballot. She is a nice woman, who dresses in traditional Muslim attire, and is very interested in politics. She is a conservative who actually ran for a nonpartisan political position last November in the area, and she lost to the two liberal incumbents who were running against her. She found out about my campaign for State Assembly and contacted me, letting me know that she would like to volunteer to help my campaign. I told her about the signature drive to get my name on the ballot, and she enthusiastically agreed to help me. In order that she could target people who would be friendly to our cause, I handed over a list of addresses of registered Republicans to her, and she planned on knocking on the doors of those registered Republicans in order to gather signatures. When I talked with her on the phone this morning, she seemed apologetic, almost as if she felt she had failed me. She told me that her efforts to get out and gather signatures did not go well yesterday. Basically, somebody threatened to call the police on her, and she felt in fear for her life. In her honest opinion, while out gathering signatures, she had run into the racist faction of the Republican Party. Out of fear for her personal welfare, she cut her signature drive efforts short.

I am glad that no physical harm came upon that woman who volunteered for my campaign. But she is definitely shaken. For their own safety, I am now asking that all campaign volunteers who are out there working directly with me immediately cease getting signatures to get my name on the ballot. I will have to resort to finding the funds to pay the filing fee to get my name on the ballot instead.

For the entire post, click here.

Matt Artz


  1. That’s very disappointing to hear. Adnan deserves our respect for planning to make up the difference by paying the filing fee another way. I’ll send your campaign $20 to help make up some of the difference. Wish I could send more.

    Good luck Adnan! You would make a great rep for the people in Assembly District 20.

  2. This guy’s story doesn’t add up. Many people don’t like door to door solicitors, and many of them are quick to point out to the persistent that if they don’t leave when asked, it’s trespassing. Adnan is making some sweeping claims about racism and prejudice from this encounter, but the only thing he states *actually happened* is that the person his door to door solicitor encountered threatened to call the police. It’s a bit of a jump to go straight from that to “in fear for her life”, prejudice, and racism.

  3. I’d like to think that Adnan is not all that extraordinary. He is a young non-white agnostic conservative, I know plenty of them. But old traits die hard, and some people need to be drilled out (or die off) before we evolve.

    I can guarantee that if more people like him were put in front of voters, the grip Democrats have on California politics would be put in check.

    I would hope this doesn’t deter his effort, but it looks like it has. Not only do I think an out of the mold candidate like Adnan is essential to conservatives, but I think candidates like him are essential to the success of California. Without meaningful choices, we wont have meaningful solutions.

  4. It seems that only two people (the woman going door-to-door and the person who answered the door) actually know precisely what occurred in this exchange, but it appears that it was sufficient to shake this woman up a bit, and that is, of course, extremely unfortunate.

    It occurs to me that, here in the liberal Bay Area, one probably runs a significantly reduced chance of encountering overt racisim than one would in, shall we say, the less enlightened areas of the country. Here we are at least exposed to a wider variety of people, rather than the homogenous societies found in some parts of the country.

    I do not know what it is like to go door-to-door campaigning. I have never done it, although I expect that I will be giving it a try this summer. When I do, I will not be at all surprised to find that a certain percentage of the people I encounter in that process will be less than receptive to the information I hope to share. That is bound to happen, and I will make my best effort not to ascribe any negative reactions to my race, gender or religion.

    While granting all appropriate sympathy to this woman in this circumstance, a certain minimal amount of schadenfreude is pretty much inevitable whenever the GOP feeds upon itself in such a public way. At least Adnan wasn’t there with his sidearm.

  5. Good Ol Fremont… I see somethings have remained the same all these years even though the faces have changed.

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