California: Hedrick Gearing Up for a Calvert Rematch

Posted January 28, 2009 at 6:23pm

Bill Hedrick (D), the teachers union leader and local school board president who came close to upsetting Rep. Ken Calvert (R) last year despite spending only $190,000 on the race, was in Washington, D.C., last week meeting with Democratic leaders and interest groups to discuss his desire for a rematch.

Hedrick caught the Congressman flat-footed last cycle and will not have the element of surprise on his side this time. But he is clearly hoping that with the support of the national party and key Democratic allies — he had next to none in 2008 — he can make up the small deficit.

“We have a substantial base now that we can build off of,” Hedrick said.

Although he mainly espouses liberal Democratic positions, Hedrick remains convinced that the voters in the traditionally conservative district in Riverside and Orange counties are ready for change and are receptive to his views. After giving George W. Bush a 19-point victory in the 2004 White House election, 44th district voters gave President Barack Obama a narrow edge in 2008.

Hedrick came away with no major commitments from House Democratic political strategists, other than a pledge to watch political developments in the district and continue talking.

“I do not plan on being a perennial candidate,” Hedrick said. “I plan on winning this time.”