Connie Britton to Host Hancock Park Fundraiser for Kirsten Gillibrand

Connie Britton and Senator Kristen Gillibrand -Getty-H 2019
Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Tickets for the event will range in price from $100 to $2,000.

With California’s newfound relevance in the presidential primary process, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on her college friend Connie Britton and members of Hollywood’s creative class to aid in her quest for the White House by upping her competitiveness in the hunt for Golden State delegates. 

Britton will be hosting an event for Gillibrand — a UCLA Law School Alum — on Sunday at the Jane Club, a members-only women's shared workspace in Hancock Park. Tickets for the event range in price from $100 to $2,000. Event chairs include comedian and TV host Chelsea Handler; actress Casey Wilson and her husband, producer David Caspe; and photographer Amanda de Cadenet. The event hosts include former ABC communications executive Alison Rou, writer Liz Tigelaar and actress June Diane Raphael.

Britton, who is currently starring on Netflix’s Dirty John, and Gillibrand first met at Dartmouth College, where they were roommates while studying abroad in China. In January, Gillibrand was a guest on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert when she announced that she was entering the 2020 presidential race. She joined an already crowded field, which is only expected to grow larger in the coming months. Twelve candidates thus far have announced that they are running for president in 2020 or have formed exploratory committees.

But what is perhaps most telling about the upcoming event is that Gillibrand is signaling that she’s not ready to cede California and its bounty of delegates to Sen. Kamala Harris, who is clearly the frontrunner in her home state, especially after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced he would not be running

In 2017, former California Gov. Jerry Brown bumped the state's primary elections up by three months in 2020 to March 3. That calendar change was orchestrated to increase the influence of the country's most populous state, which now joins other states in what's called "Super Tuesday.” In the past, Iowa and New Hampshire were the entry points for presidential aspirants, but now California — with its large and racially diverse constituencies, not to mention its expensive media markets — has changed candidates’ calculations. 

The question on many political operatives’ minds is which of the many Democratic candidates have both the moxie and the money to challenge Harris in her home state. In a recent editorial for the Sacramento Bee, Democratic strategist Garry South argues that if history is any indicator, Harris is no foregone conclusion when it comes to California voters. California delegates are apportioned based on the percentage of the vote. And when Brown —  the most recent California politician to run for the presidency — challenged Bill Clinton in 1992, he was beaten handily in his home state. 

“History suggests that all the frothing about the California primary may or may not result in a major boost for Harris. And it almost certainly will not result in an insurmountable treasure trove of delegates for her,” writes South. “The breathless notion that the California primary could put it all away for Harris defies the numbers and recent history.” 

If South is correct and California remains in play, expect to see a procession of Democratic candidates making their way to L.A., San Francisco and elsewhere over the coming months.