The race for the right to represent California’s First District at the U.S. Congress intensified this week with both candidates positioning themselves for votes as Election Day approaches.
Democratic candidate Jim Reed touted the Wednesday endorsement his campaign received from Republican Pete Stiglich in a news release.
Stiglich became the second Republican candidate from California’s First District congressional primary to publicly endorse Reed, a Democrat, the release stated.
Together with Republican Gregory Cheadle and independent Gary Oxley, Stiglich becomes the third candidate from the primary to publicly endorse Reed.
None of the eight primary candidates has publicly endorsed Reed’s opponent, Republican Doug LaMalfa.
In explaining his endorsement, Stiglich, a 26-year veteran and former United States Air Force colonel, wrote the following:
“For months, I’ve struggled to decide how I would vote in the upcoming 1st congressional district election. As a long-time conservative and registered Republican, it should have been an easy decision.
“The idea of even considering a Democrat was a chilling, even frightening, thought. In the end, though, it boiled down to a vote either for principle or for party … I know (Jim Reed) to be an honest and principled man. And that, alone, makes him deserving of my support. For me, principle always trumps party.”
LaMalfa, who made an appearance at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building Thursday morning, downplayed the endorsement, calling it the product of an “internal rivalry” within the Republican party.
“These people are trying to position themselves for a future run at the Congress themselves,” LaMalfa said.
“When you are supporting (U.S. Congresswoman Nancy) Pelosi-style politics due to some bad blood, your credibility goes out the window.”
Stiglich said LaMalfa’s credibility is the reason he endorsed Reed.
“And, my friends, there’s the rub when it comes to Doug LaMalfa,” Stiglich wrote. “Frankly, at least in my opinion, he’s racked up an unacceptable litany of what I’ll simply describe as ‘misbehaviors.’”
LaMalfa has accepted nearly $5 million in federal subsidies all the while advocating for small government principles, the release states. His campaign went so far as to say that Mitt Romney “was right” to dismiss “dependent” portions of the electorate — even while their candidate feeds at the federal trough.
“It’s something (my opponents) are trying to make an issue out of but all the major crops in the United States are a part of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture),” LaMalfa said in response to the criticism. “I abide by the rules
by which the USDA governs
The USDA needs to streamline its processes to give farmers more latitude and freedom to make their own decisions, while discontinuing trade policies that affect the price of breadbasket crops, LaMalfa said.
Reed said he appreciated the endorsements from the primary candidates and vowed to be a representative who will put the best interests of all the people living in the First District ahead of everything else.
“When I meet people, I don’t view them as Republican or Democrat. I just view them as people,” Reed said in the release.
“We need someone in Washington who will be a champion for everyone in this region. A representative needs to, first, listen to the people of his district, and then act on their behalf. That’s exactly what I plan to do as a member of U.S. Congress.”
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email email@example.com or call (530) 477-4239.