The following article was originally published at Liberation News. The full version may be read here

The results are in! Revolutionary socialist congressional candidate José Cortes received 3,343 votes in the San Diego, California, primary race. Cortes, a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and Peace & Freedom Party, ran against Republican Stan Caplan and corporate Democrat Sara Jacobs for the seat in California’s newly formed 51st House of Representatives district.

Cortes also ran for Congress in the old 50th district in 2020. Amid record-low turnout in a district where half as many people voted as had voted in 2020, Cortes doubled his tally in ’22. Growing support for José Cortes, the Peace & Freedom Party and the PSL is further evidence of an observation made by socialist presidential candidate Gloria La Riva said in 2019: “the fog of anti-communism is lifting.”

The Cortes for Congress program centered on pro-working class demands such as housing for all, Medicare for All, ending all U.S.-involved wars and interventions overseas, full rights for all immigrants, reparations for oppressed peoples, jailing killer cops and defunding the police. While discussing his program at an African Liberation Day celebration on May 27 at the San Diego Justice Center, José told an engaged audience, “We’re actually in a conflict not just between ideas, but between classes.”

Achievements of the Cortes for Congress campaign

In addition to doubling his previous vote count, the Cortes for Congress campaign raised over $7,000, which helped José get on the ballot. Donations – large and small – poured in from working-class supporters across the country. The fundraising made it possible to obtain a voter guide statement that was sent to hundreds of thousands of voters in the district.

The campaign hosted or participated in events and demonstrations condemning NATO’s role in the Ukraine war, protesting the Rittenhouse verdict and demanding the cancellation of rents and mortgages. Cortes and campaign volunteers also took to the streets in anticipation of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, helping PSL San Diego rapidly mobilize and organize several abortion rights actions in recent weeks and months.

While there was not a single forum or debate held for the candidates in this race, Cortes’ campaign was featured in several major local media outlets such as the San Diego Union-Tribune and Times of San Diego.

José’s campaign was endorsed by the San Diego County Green Party, San Diego Socialist Alternative and Left Unity Slate candidates Meghann AdamsNathalie Hrizi and Marco Amaral, among other community organizers and labor leaders.

Reflections on the campaign 

Talking about the challenges of running a campaign while working at a call center full-time, José said to Liberation News, “Our campaign would routinely have to put in long days at work, followed by evenings filled with doing outreach outside of local grocery stores, malls and anywhere where working people could be found. Meanwhile, the ruling-class parties enjoyed paid staff and candidates who could run full-time without needing to have a real job.”

The campaign’s volunteer staff was made up entirely of working-class people and students. Campaign volunteer Max Lamangan told Liberation News, “The biggest challenge was balancing all of the tasks required for running a campaign that are typically delegated to a larger campaign team in the major parties.”

The Cortes for Congress campaign demonstrated a strong sense of solidarity and perseverance. Given the obstacles put in front of socialist parties trying to make a splash in the U.S. electoral arena and the challenges of campaigning during a pandemic, the outcomes are remarkable. “Seeing our people actualize their own power and participate in campaigns to not just fight, but win real material changes in their lives, opens the doorway to a socialist future,” says José. 


Latest news

Random Image

Election 2024

Get your voice heard in Election 2024 – vote Peace & Freedom and the Left Unity Slate!

The California statewide primary election of March 5, 2024, includes first-round elections for political offices at all levels of government in the leadup to November's general election. Keep up with all the news regarding  Peace & Freedom Party and Left Unity Slate candidates as well as PFP's stands on ballot props and other items on the ballot.

the PFP Workers’ Voters Guide (PDF)

PFP says Vote NO on Prop 1!

Vote Kevin Martinez for CA State Assembly (6th district)

PFP Election 2024 campaign news

Support PFP

Support our campaigns! 

Donate to the Peace and Freedom Party by clicking the PayPal link -- PayPal membership is not required.

To send contributions via post, checks or money orders may be sent to:

Peace & Freedom Party
P.O. Box 24764
Oakland, CA 94623

PFP Inform List

 Join the PFP Inform List!

Get information on party activities and positions.  Please sign up if you would like to get notices, letting you know about party campaigns and candidates, new positions and coalitions, and the availability of resources. 

Click here to sign up!

PFP Archive

Want to travel back in time?

For a complete online archive of the Peace & Freedom Party's official website with content published from 2008-2020, just click the logo at right.

In California, voter registration is very important to political parties. The very existence of a political party as “ballot-qualified” is determined by the number of votes its statewide candidates receive or by the number of voters registered with the party. As the only feminist socialist political party on the California ballot, it is imperative that the Peace and Freedom Party continues as a qualified party.

Quite simply, the Peace and Freedom Party will not be able to provide Californians with candidates that will represent us unless we register and vote Peace and Freedom.

For all the information you need on registering to vote, visit the California Secretary of State's homepage at or just click here.

Thank you for registering Peace and freedom Party, and thank you for your vote!




Cookie policy

You may have noticed that the Peace and Freedom Party official website contains no warnings about cookies. The reason for this is simple: we will never ever record user information temporarily or permanently. Further, we will never use cookies to “personalize content”, to “provide social media features” or to analyze website traffic. PFP will never share information about your use of our site with anyone for any purpose.