OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former MLB player and Republican Steve Garvey is gaining ground in the California Senate contest as the March 5 primary draws closer.
Garvey is solidly in second place in the race, according to a recent poll from Emerson College, Nexstar, and Inside California Politics, which would propel him into the November election.
Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff is barely ahead of his fellow Democrats in the poll, with 25 percent of the vote.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres, Garvey spent 19 years playing Major League Baseball. He currently holds the 18th spot in the poll. Third place went to Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), who received 13 percent of the vote, and Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), who received eight percent. Republicans James Bradley and Eric Early scored two and three percent, respectively. Situation: Since the last Emerson College poll in November of last year, Shiff and Garvey have significantly increased.
In the previous poll, Schiff was still in the lead, but his lead over Porter was only three percent. The most recent poll shows a 9% increase in his support, The Sun reported.
In the previous November poll, Garvey finished just ahead of Lee and behind Porter, barely holding onto third place; however, in just two months, his support has risen by eight points.
“Everywhere we go, the excitement for Steve Garvey is palpable,” said Garvey campaign spokesman Matt Shupe. “As Californians reconnect with Steve Garvey and embrace his message of compassionate, commonsense solutions for the everyday issues they face, coupled with his commitment to building political consensus, we anticipate seeing even more support for his campaign. The dynamics of this election are clearly evolving into a race to beat Steve Garvey.”
Steve Garvey for US Senate !!! pic.twitter.com/HZy00lac8A
— Beth (@BethEdwar) January 19, 2024
But there is another issue with Schiff: despite his desire to represent Californians in the Senate, he allegedly claimed Maryland as his primary residence for many years.
Schiff is under fire over claims that he has been claiming two primary residences in Maryland and California for more than ten years while taking advantage of homeowner tax breaks.
The controversies surrounding Schiff’s residential claims may cause problems for his January 2023 announcement of a U.S. Senate run.
For years, Schiff has been the owner of a large 3,420-square-foot house in Maryland. However, he has also claimed a homeowner’s tax exemption on a much smaller condo in Burbank, California, which is 650 square feet, and has designated it as his primary residence.
The congressman saved about $70 a year in property taxes as a result of this maneuver, which saved him $7,000 in total. Schiff did not request a comparable exemption for his property in Maryland.
Tax records reveal that 2017 was the only year Schiff paid property taxes in California using a personal check bearing his Maryland address, adding fuel to the controversy, according to CNN.
One insider told The New York Post that Schiff is “rarely at his California apartment,” which is a modest one-bedroom, one-bathroom residence.
“The revelation comes as Schiff faces stiff competition in the California Senate primary against fellow Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee. Deed records reveal that Schiff designated his Maryland property as his primary residence in 2003 when he purchased it for $870,000,” the NY Post reported.
“In 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, Schiff refinanced his mortgage and consistently indicated the Maryland property as his primary residence. Los Angeles County deed records for Schiff’s Burbank condo, purchased in 2009 for $298,000, raise eyebrows as they were notarized in Maryland. The records feature alterations that replaced ‘California’ and ‘Los Angeles’ with ‘Maryland’ and ‘Montgomery County,’ listing Schiff’s Maryland address as the return address. This inconsistency further fuels doubts about his true primary residence,” the outlet added.
In an interview with CNN, Schiff’s campaign spokesperson Marisol Samayoa insisted that the candidate’s primary residence is in Burbank, despite an increasing body of evidence indicating otherwise. Schiff resides in Maryland.
Samayoa emphasized that Schiff and his wife had moved to the Washington, DC, area to spend more time with their children while he performed his congressional duties, citing several news mentions as well as his book.
Samayoa further claimed that Schiff claimed that both of his Maryland and California addresses are year-round residences and listed them as primary residences for loan purposes to differentiate them from vacation properties.
Nevertheless, Schiff’s biography on the campaign website from 2010 to 2014, which stated he was raising his family in Burbank, omits any reference to his residence in Maryland.
The New York Post added:
However, in 2020, Schiff refinanced his mortgage, indicating that the Maryland house was his second home. Yet a social media post from 2021 and school publications and athletic records from the same year suggest that Schiff was still living at the Maryland home.
A telling family photo on Schiff’s website from 2021 matches the exterior of his Potomac home in Maryland. Additionally, a large number of social media posts from the previous year, some of which Schiff himself publicly shared, strongly suggest that he is still a Maryland resident.
On June 7, 2022, on the day of the Democratic primary in the Los Angeles mayor’s race, Schiff posted a photo on Twitter in front of his Maryland home, wearing an “I Voted” sticker. Despite this, his spokesperson insisted that Schiff was in Washington, DC, for House votes and had voted by mail.