California: Krom Gears Up to Challenge Campbell

Posted March 11, 2009 at 6:39pm

Rep. John Campbell (R), who took 55 percent of the vote in 2008 despite running against a badly underfunded perennial candidate in a fairly conservative Orange County district, could face a considerably tougher challenge next year.Former Irvine Mayor Beth Krom (D), who sits on the city council, announced this week that she plans to run in 2010.“On issues that matter to this district — the economy, jobs and economic development, education, the environment, public safety and transportation — John Campbell has no record of accomplishment either in Congress or as a state legislator,— Krom said in a statement. “My record on these accomplishments is clear and one with multiple accomplishments.—Krom was elected to the first of her two terms on the council in 2000, then served two terms as mayor, the maximum allowed under term limits. She was elected last year to a council seat. Irvine is far and away the largest city in the Congressional district.According to the Orange County Weekly, Krom is a political protégé of Larry Agran, the former Irvine mayor who gained some prominence by running a long-shot but credible bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992.Krom’s first fundraiser is scheduled for March 22 and will be headlined by Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D), who represents an adjacent district.Campbell, a personally wealthy former auto dealer, spent about $772,000 en route to winning a second full term last year. He finished 2008 with $269,000 in his campaign account.The 48th district gave George W. Bush an 18-point victory in the 2004 presidential election, but like a lot of California districts, it appears to be changing rapidly. An unofficial analysis of election results compiled by the Swing State Project found that President Barack Obama defeated Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by about 2,500 votes in the district last year.