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.
“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.