With the issue of who will become the frontrunner among Democratic candidates in the 26th Congressional District an open question following the departure of Supervisor Steve Bennett, the remaining candidates are showing renewed signs of vigor.
Moorpark Councilman David Pollock scored at least a small coup this week by securing the first labor endorsement in the race, that of Teamsters Joint Council 42, which represents 22 Teamsters local unions in California, Nevada and Hawaii. Labor, of course, often plays a big role in Democratic primaries, but until this week unions had stayed out of this race.
That endorsement is potentially a much bigger deal than the other development Pollock's campaign is touting -- a brief appearance on an MNBC news-talk show on Friday in which he was asked about his "Bad News Bears" Internet video. That appearance allows him to legitimately assert that he's the only candidate in the race to have received national television news coverage.
Meanwhile, Westlake Village businessman and former tennis pro David Cruz Thayne has picked up the endorsements of three more members of the Legislature's Latino Caucus.
Thayne's campaign also released a pointed statement today designed to discourage Assemblywoman Julia Brownley of Santa Monica from entering the race. Brownley, whose district includes Port Hueneme and much of Oxnard, is considering a potential run now that Bennett has departed. Here is some of what Thayne's campaign manager Alex Thompson had to say about that:
"Although I like and have the deepest respect for Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, she would not be a good fit for the 26th Congressional District. Not only does she not live in the district, nor has she ever lived in the district, she actually lives in Santa Monica, 26-30 miles from the eastern boundary of the district, depending on which way you drive...
"Whichever Republican ends up in the run-off, he or she will live in the district and have deep ties to the district. Democrats should think long and hard about supporting a candidate who lives far outside the district and will be subjected to attacks for not only being a carpetbagger, but for representing 'Santa Monica values.'"