Rep. Pete Stark‘s campaign today announced the endorsement of President Barack Obama.
“Congressman Pete Stark is a tireless champion for all of the 15th’s working families,” the president said in the news release. “We’ve worked hard these last three years to bring meaningful, positive change to our nation – fighting for good jobs, good schools and a health care system that works for all of our citizens. We have made great strides, but there is much more to do. That is why we need his dedicated efforts back in Congress to continue the fight with me. I need you to cast your vote for Congressman Stark in the June 5th Democratic Congressional Primary.”
“We cannot have a return to failed policies of the past, Congressman Stark has worked closely with me on crucial programs and policies that have made a real difference not only in California, but across America. We need his wisdom, experience and his steady, ‘get-things-done’ style now more than ever.”
Stark said he’s honored. “After a campaign focused on health care, working families and economic development, my first task back in Congress will be to work with the President and other members of Congress to get our economy back on the right track.”
Stark, 80, is challenged in the June 5 primary election by fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell, 31, a Dublin councilman and Alameda County prosecutor, and by conservative independent Chris Pareja, 40, a Hayward businessman. What might’ve been a cakewalk for Stark – a 20-term incumbent rumored to be seeking his last term, and dean of California’s delegation – instead grew ugly in recent weeks as Stark had to apologize for a series of unsubstantiated accusations he made against Swalwell.
“Pete Stark knows he is in trouble and now has to call on the President for support,” Swalwell said Friday. “The only endorsements I am interested in are from people who live and vote here.”
Pareja called the endorsement unsurprising.
“As mentioned in Pete’s release, they have worked together on health care, the economy and jobs. Unfortunately, all three of those initiatives have failed in the 15th District,” Pareja said. “Under this Stark/Obama partnership we have seen health care costs continue to rise and concerns that quality will slip. We can foresee the risk of diminishing health care access facing our senior citizens. We have seen more jobs lost. We have seen the California economy continue to weaken. … It’s time to have the citizens’ voices represented instead of backslapping and self-congratulation for failed policies.”
The newly drawn 15th Congressional District includes Hayward, Fremont, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Livermore, Union City, and unincorporated areas including Castro Valley, Fairview and San Lorenzo.
President Obama will visit the Bay Area next Wednesday for campaign fundraisers in Palo Alto, Atherton and Redwood City.