President Obama endorses Pete Stark

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.

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.

  • Common Tater

    It figures…

  • Truthclubber

    “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.”

    1) I didn’t know that newspapers are “people who live here and vote here” — as in this on his website:

    San Francisco Chronicle, Contra Costa Times and Hayward Daily Review Endorse Eric Swalwell for Congress

    Perhaps (being the uber-moderate, aka DINO that he really is) he thinks (like Mittens Romney) that “corporations are people”…

    2) Here are just a few of the endorsements Swal-who? touts, all of whom I suspect do not “live or vote here” in CD15, as newly made up:

    Stephen Cassidy, Mayor, San Leandro
    Mike Doyle, Councilmember & Former Mayor, Town of Danville
    Kristina Lawson, Councilmember, City of Walnut Creek
    Kish Rajan, Councilmember, City of Walnut Creek
    J. Chaka Santos, Mayor, City of Lathrop
    Amy Worth, Vice Mayor, Orinda

    Who’s zoomin’ who? Just askin’…

  • JohnW

    I’ve cast my ballot and voted for Stark, because I don’t think we should be handing a secure Congressional seat to somebody with Swalwell’s qualifications (or lack thereof). But, for the life of me, I don’t understand why the Dem establishment has backed Stark like this. They should have sent him a message by recruiting and backing a more deserving candidate to run this year. If Swalwell wins, they will have giant egg all over their faces.

  • Charlie Peters

    GOOGLE: Prop 87 (510) 537-1796

    Bill Clinton, Al Gore & Senator Obama supported the California 2006 Prop. 87, a GMO corn ethanol welfare program.

    Bill, Al, have changed opinion on the ethanol mandate, I wonder if Obama will make this the time for CHANGE?

    I support a waiver of the ethanol mandate, voluntary use of ethanol in my gas.

    Federal ethanol policy increases Government motors oil use and Big oil profit.

    It is reported that today California is using Brazil sugar cane ethanol at $0.16 per gal increase over using GMO corn fuel ethanol. In this game the cars and trucks get to pay and Big oil profits are the result that may be ready for change.

    We do NOT support AB 523 or SB 1396 unless the ethanol mandate is changed to voluntary ethanol in our gas.

    Folks that pay more at the pump for less from Cars, trucks, food, water & air need better, it is time.

    The car tax of AB 118 Nunez is just a simple Big oil welfare program, AAA questioned the policy and some folks still agree.

    AB 523 & SB 1326 are just a short put (waiver) from better results.

    GOOGLE: Prop 87 (510) 537-1796

  • Charlie Peters

    Audit the fed, support HR 459 Paul

  • Elwood

    The dimmiecrats are circling the wagons around poor old senile Pete.

  • carol

    How can anyone vote for Stark after the way he embarrassed himself by his hostile behavior versus constituents in those YouTube videos?! Consider the independent conservative, Chris Pareja!

  • Jon Rickter

    As a resident of San Ramon I cannot wait for Pete Stark to be my Congressman. This gasbag will be a laugh a minute. He will be a real change from the affable Congressman Jerry McNerney or the conervative wackos the Republican Party serves up every 2 years.
    After all congress is nothing but a huge waste of time and money. So why not have a few laughs.

  • Truthclubber

    This just in (5/22/12; 4:48 pm):

    According to FaceBook (aka FarceBook the way its IPO went), the following tally of people “like” each candidate:

    Stark: 835
    Swalwell: 322
    Pareja: 000 (that’s not entirely true, I just can’t tell)

    Yo, Eric!

    Betta get dem Tauscher staffers ya borrowed hard at work banging away on dem “like” buttons, ya hear?

    I mean, ya wanna come off as da hip, cool, social media gangsta compared ta granpa Petie, ya betta get wid it, word?

  • JohnW

    Based on the number of mailings and phone calls I’ve received, Stark’s funding advantage is evident. I think Swalwell has an excellent future as a rookie Dublin city council member. Hope he stays there. But whatever happens happens. Needless to say, that FB straw poll is about as scientific as American Idol voting.

  • Rob

    If the President says that we cannot have a return to the failed policies of the past, how does that translate into an endorsement for Rep. Stark? He’s been in office for 40 years! He is the picture of failed policies of the past, either that or completely ineffective leadership. Time to stop looking at the (D) and (R) behind every candidate and vote on substance. If Swallwell or Pareja are who they say they are, both could make good representatives for our district. I would never vote for anyone who thinks as little of his constituents as Pete Stark does. His YouTube clips are unbelievable.