Two candidates spoke. Here is a summary of their presentations. Their bios are also posted.
BRIAN FORDE (running in the 45th district to replace Mimi Walters) Brian is a native of Orange County, who graduated from UCLA and MIT. He served in the Peace Corp in Nicaragua and currently has his own computer company. He was a Senior Adviser for Emerging Technology in the Obama administration, as well as a professor at MIT. Brian is a self-described problem solver. He is 37 years old.
Here are his talking points: He has diverse experience: His University experience makes him a good fit for District 45 He is a small business owner, He is pro-choice, supports LGBT rights, and DACA. He believes health care is a human right. He promotes 100% renewable energy and sees any other option as a security threat. He supports federal funding of technology research. He wants to provide opportunities for training to people losing jobs to automation. There are a half million IT jobs open, and he sees that upgrading skills to those that are relevant today and eliminating a 4 year college requirement can be the answer.
Brian is a member of Obama's "geek squad", 400 technology experts from the Obama White House. He believes this group can provide solutions through technology to health care and climate change.
He sees running for Congress as a call to service. He acknowledges Congress doesn't understand technology and that it is an important aspect of the future.
My take on Brian -- he is very smart and articulate; just the forward-thinking kind of person we need in Congress. Unfortunately, he may be ahead of his time.
OMAR SIDDIQUI (running in the 48th District to replace Dana Rohrabacher) Omar is a Lawyer and an Engineer. His father was an immigrant from India, and Omar is a native of Southern California. He has worked with the FBI and CIA, specializing in counter terrorism and national security. He claims that Obama urged him to run for office.
In April he was hosting a Diversity Agent Event in LA to recruit diverse candidates for the FBI and James Comey agreed to speak. On his way there, Comey was fired by Trump. At the time, Comey said to him "There's no time for us to stand around."
His motto for his campaign: "We are one nation with one destiny, and united we will rise." He vows to protect the country, but not step on the Constitution.