At an event earlier this week, Israel brought up Hernandez unprompted when touting this cycle's "problem-solving" recruits. "Who could be more of a problem solver than a guy who has to figure out 'all systems go?'" Israel said. Hernandez's biography obviously endears him to the party: He's the son of migrant workers and a late learner of English who persistently applied and applied to NASA until he was finally accepted to their astronaut program -- has clearly endeared him to the party.
Hernandez didn't win DFA's big prize, but third place behind Grayson is a sign the grassroots likes him as a candidate, too. Hernandez will need help to wrest California's new 10th District from Denham: The voting-age population is over one-third Latino and John McCain won less than 48 percent of its presidential vote in 2008, but George W. Bush did carry the new district with 58 percent in 2004. The DFA results show Hernandez has turned heads outside the Democratic establishment, too, and that's a good sign for the challenger's efforts.