The National Republican Congressional Committee is sending an early signal that it intends to compete in California in 2012.
The committee is launching an ad Thursday against Rep. John Garamendi, a Democrat serving his first full term and running in the redrawn, Sacramento-area 3rd district. His district got considerably more competitive in the state’s independent redistricting process, and he was outraised by his Republican opponent in the third quarter.
The 60-second ad, which launches Thursday and will run on cable for two weeks, ties Garamendi to President Barack Obama and his support for Solyndra, a California-based solar power company that went bankrupt after receiving a $535 million federal loan guarantee.
“John Garamendi supported the Obama policy that loaned Solyndra money,” the announcer says in the ad. “Garamendi backed Obama’s failed stimulus economic policy. John Garamendi and President Obama are making our economy worse.”
Garamendi’s top GOP opponent is Colusa County Supervisor Kim Dolbow Vann, who raised $125,000 in the third quarter and had nearly all of that left in the bank at the end of September. Garamendi raised just $93,000 and had $113,000 in cash on hand.
The district is one of six potential California targets for the NRCC. Democrats are still expected to gain seats in the state next year, but how many will depend on whether the GOP can pick up some of the more competitive districts such as the 3rd.