A national, nonpartisan “super PAC” targeting incumbents on both sides of the aisle reportedly is taking a hard look at two Bay Area House members.
The Hill reported yesterday that the Campaign for Primary Accountability – which has already begun spending against Republicans and Democrats in other states, two of whom subsequently lost their primaries – is watching California representatives including Pete Stark, D-Fremont, and Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto.
The campaign is targeting safe districts in which entrenched incumbents have what it deems to be credible challengers, taking a “throw the bums out” mentality to ousting lawmakers it believes have been on Capitol Hill too long.
“The full measure of the success of our efforts will be seen in the next election cycle when more primary challengers step forward, giving voters a choice and an opportunity to participate in competitive elections,” spokesman Curtis Ellis told the Hill.
Spokespeople for the Stark and Eshoo campaigns didn’t immediately reply to emails seeking comment.
Under California’s new top-two primary system, all voters can choose from among all candidates of any party on June 5; the top-two vote getters – even if they’re of the same party – will advance to November’s general election.
Stark, 80, who has been in Congress since 1972, is being challenged by fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell, a Dublin councilman and Alameda County prosecutor, and by conservative nonpartisan candidate Chris Pareja, a businessman from Hayward. Eshoo, 69, who has been in Congress since 1992, is being challenged by Democrat William Parks, an attorney from Sunnyvale; Republican Dave Chapman, a software engineer from Mountain View; and Green Carol Brouillet, a political activist from Palo Alto.
The rules governing super PACs require that they not coordinate their campaign with any specific candidate in any way.
Also reportedly on the group’s watch list in California are Republican Reps. Dan Lungren, Gary Miller, John Campbell and Brian Bilbray, and Democratic Reps. Jim Costa, Adam Schiff, Grace Napolitano, Henry Waxman, Joe Baca, Karen Bass, Lucille Roybal-Allard and Maxine Waters.