The advantage of incumbency?

hancock.jpgAssemblywoman Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, reportedly has received the California Democratic Party’s endorsement to succeed state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, in the 9th State Senate District.

“As a lifelong Democrat, I am proud to have the sole endorsement of my party,” Hancock said in her own news release. “We have worked hard on the issues that face our state — combating global warming, fixing our health care system, and improving our schools. I look forward to continuing that work in the State Senate.”

The release said Hancock got with 90% of the vote from Democrats based in her region, needing only 60 percent to win the endorsement. That’s gotta hurt for Hancock’s opponent, former Assembly Majority Leader Wilma Chan, D-Alameda.

chan.jpgChan, term-limited out in 2006, just hasn’t had the kind of public face-time that Hancock — finishing her final Assembly term this year — has had by remaining in office. And note Hancock’s quote, regarding the “sole endorsement;” Perata had endorsed them both, which essentially negated any possible benefit.

But don’t count Chan out. As of March 17, the end of the last reporting period, Chan’s campaign had $507,283 in the bank compared to Hancock’s $406,108, although a glance at filings since then shows Hancock may have stepped it up in the last two weeks, collecting $34,200 to Chan’s $9,700. Lotsa money on both sides; watch your mailboxes for what’s sure to be a direct-mail deluge.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.