California: McCarthy Endorses Pombo After All

Posted January 11, 2010 at 6:32pm

Less than three days after saying he was sticking with state Sen. Jeff Denham, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R) switched his endorsement in a contested Republican primary.

McCarthy now is backing former Rep. Richard Pombo in California’s 19th district.

“Pombo, the former chair of the House Resources Committee, has the best combination of skills, judgment and experience to help us fight the tough battle for water and jobs that must be engaged on behalf of the working families of our valley,— McCarthy said.

The seat is currently held by Republican George Radanovich, who is retiring.

Radanovich has backed Denham as his successor.

McCarthy’s endorsement is noteworthy because he is in charge of recruitment for the National Republican Congressional Committee and is close to party leadership.

Candidate Tries Again, in Different District

Attorney David Harmer (R) is running to take on Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) in the 11th district, two months after losing a closer-than-expected special election race for the neighboring 10th district.

Harmer, who lost by 10 points to California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, sent an e-mail to supporters Monday saying that he decided to run after receiving encouragement from “prominent Republicans— and “hundreds of messages urging me to run again and promising support.—

Harmer lives just outside the district in the city of San Ramon, Calif.

McNerney upset then-Rep. Richard Pombo (R) in 2006 after losing to Pombo by double digits in 2004. He won comfortably in 2008 but has attracted a number of Republican candidates this cycle, including Tony Amador, who until recently was U.S. marshal for northern California; vineyard owner Brad Goehring; former telecommunications executive David Bernal; Elizabeth Emken, vice president of the group Autism Speaks; and San Jose City Councilman Larry Pegram.

President Barack Obama won the district by 10 points in 2008; President George W. Bush won by 9 points in 2004.