Two leading Republicans in San Joaquin County endorsed this morning Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney’s re-election bid.
San Joaquin Supervisors Steve Bestolarides and Larry Ruhstaller, both Republicans although the hold nonpartisan offices, cast their lot with McNerney before a single Republican has even declared interest in challenging the Democrat. (Republicans are courting Contra Costa Sheriff Warren Rupf but he has not made a decision.)
In the last election, Ruhstaller supported McNerney’s challenger, Dean Andal, with a $250 donation in 2007.
But the San Joaquin officials, in a prepared release, say their support has nothing to do with politics. They cited McNerney’s successful advocacy efforts related to the Veteran Administration’s recent selection of San Joaquin rather than Stanislaus County as the site of a new treatment facility.
No word on how the San Joaquin Republican Party or the National Republican Campaign Committee will view this pair’s announcement.
But Ruhstaller and Bestolarides, who served on local city councils prior to being elected to county seats, are in their first terms on the Board of Supervisors. This ought to be interesting.
Read on for the press release out of McNerney’s office and the two men’s comments:
SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY SUPERVISORS
OFFER SUPPORT TO CONGRESSMAN MCNERNEY
Stockton, Calif. – Today, San Joaquin County Supervisors Steve Bestolarides and Larry Ruhstaller offered their support to Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-11) with the following statement:
“We’re offering our support to Congressman McNerney because we’ve come to believe this area couldn’t be better represented by anyone than Jerry McNerney,” said Supervisors Steve Bestolarides and Larry Ruhstaller.
Supervisor Bestolarides continued, “Jerry McNerney has proved how hard he works for all of us. He’s back here every weekend holding events and workshops and listening to the concerns of his constituents and local community leaders.”
“He’s fought tirelessly for our veterans to have access to the medical care they’ve earned,” said Supervisor Ruhstaller. “For years, we’ve been advocating for our County to house a new medical facility for veterans. Jerry McNerney took our message to Washington and got the job done. Thanks to his work, the Department of Veterans Affairs has selected San Joaquin County for a new medical facility and nursing home for veterans.”
“Our support for Jerry McNerney is not about politics,” continued Supervisors Bestolarides and Ruhstaller. “It’s about acknowledging the hard work that he does for all of us. There’s no time like the present to show our support for Jerry McNerney.”
Congressman McNerney responded to the Supervisors’ statement with the following words: “I’m deeply honored to receive the support of Supervisors Bestolarides and Ruhstaller, two hardworking and dedicated public servants. They know the importance of coming together to find solutions to the challenges we face. I look forward to my continued partnership with both of them.”
Supervisor Steve Bestolarides was born in Lodi, CA and raised in San Joaquin County. A graduate of Stockton’s University of the Pacific, he was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2008 and represents the 3rd Supervisory District. He previously served on the Stockton City Council for six years.
Supervisor Larry Ruhstaller is a third generation Stocktonian that represents the 2nd Supervisory District of San Joaquin County. Supervisor Ruhstaller is in his first term on the Board of Supervisors and previously served two terms on the Stockton City Council.