Dennis Kucinich to stump for Pete Stark on Sunday

Liberal icon Rep. Dennis Kucinich – now a lame duck, having lost his primary in which redistricting pitted him against a fellow Ohio Democrat – isn’t going quietly into that good night, but instead is rallying to the side of a Bay Area friend.

Kucinich will join Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, for a get-out-the-vote rally, phone bank and precinct walk at noon this Sunday, June 3 in Dublin – the home turf of Stark’s own primary opponent, fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell. In fact, they’re rallying in the same union hall that’s the meeting place of the TriValley Democratic Club, of which Swalwell is a longtime member.

Dennis Kucinich“I have worked closely with Pete Stark for the past 16 years in Congress. He is a singular force to protect the health of the American people,” Kucinich said in a news release issued by Stark’s campaign. “He is a key architect of the Affordable Care Act, which will finally guarantee quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Pete is also the author of a law (COBRA) which is directly responsible for protecting access to and continuity of health care for 45 million Americans who are in between jobs. We need Pete Stark to continue representing us in Congress.”

Stark said he’s honored to have the support of Kucinich, who ran dark-horse campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008. “Dennis is a strong leader on progressive issues – we have worked together to enact health reform, protect Social Security and Medicare and stand up for working families.”

Stark announced President Obama’s endorsement two weeks ago.

Swalwell, 31, a Dublin councilman and Alameda County prosecutor, is taking on Stark, 80, a 20-term incumbent, in the newly drawn 15th Congressional District, which includes Hayward, Fremont, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Livermore, Union City, and the unincorporated areas of Castro Valley, Fairview and San Lorenzo. Conservative independent candidate Chris Pareja, 40, a businessman from Hayward, is running as well.

What might’ve been a cakewalk for Stark – rumored to be seeking his last term, and dean of California’s delegation – instead grew ugly in April and May as Stark had to apologize for a series of unsubstantiated accusations he made against Swalwell.

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.

  • JohnW

    Now, there’s a team.

  • Elwood


    You’re kidding.


  • Josh Richman

    I kid you not. In fact, I just received an e-mail from the Alameda Labor Council touting it as well.

  • Elwood

    Stark is endorsed by the Obamanator and Daffy Dennis!

    Now there’s a pair to draw to!

  • Cindy

    Great idea to have a long-serving liberal who just lost his primary come and campaign for you. Foreshadowing much?

  • JAFO

    A lame duck congressman and a certifiably lame congressman. The only question remaining is, “Which is which?”

  • JohnW

    Doesn’t look like Dennis the Menace helped Pete very much. In the Top 2 general election, conservatives who voted for the Tea Party candidate in the primary will either vote for Swalwell or sit on their hands. Question is, will Ro Khanna or some other Democrat challenge Swalwell in the Top 2 primary in 2014. Khanna will obviously have the war chest to do it, especially if the Democratic establishment withholds active support from Swalwell at that time.

  • Elwood

    Looks to me like Petey Bird’ goose is cooked.

    Stark 42% Swalwell 36% and Pareja, the Tea Party Candidate 22%.

    Not many of Pareja’s voters are likely to vote for the senile ultra-liberal Petey Bird.

    Bye bye, Petey Bird! Fly away home to Maryland.