McNerney will skip convention, Garamendi unsure

Add Rep. Jerry McNerney to the list of Democratic elected officials who won’t attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., this September even as they try to retain their seats.

But it seems he has a pretty solid reason.

“The Congressman won’t be attending the convention, as it conflicts with his son’s wedding,” spokeswoman Lauren Smith said today.

McNerney, D-Stockton, is being challenged in the newly drawn 9th Congressional District by Ricky Gill, a recent law school graduate from Lodi whom the National Republican Congressional Committee named one of its Young Guns – a well-funded, well-organized up-and-comer taking on a vulnerable incumbent.

But Gill spokesman Colin Hunter said Gill hasn’t yet decided whether he’ll attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August; he declined comment on McNerney skipping Charlotte.

Various national media outlets have been building a list of Democrats avoiding the Charlotte convention, often from districts where President Obama’s approval ratings are low. Likewise, some Republicans who might benefit from distancing themselves from the GOP are avoiding Tampa.

It’s unclear whether Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, will go to Charlotte. Garamendi is challenged in the newly drawn 3rd Congressional District by Colusa County Supervisor Kim Vann, another of the NRCC’s Young Guns.

“A decision has not been made yet,” Garamendi spokesman Donald Lathbury said today. “We’ll have a better sense of his schedule closer to the convention.”

A spokeswoman for Vann didn’t immediately return a call or an e-mail.

UPDATE @ 1:05 P.M.: Alee Lockman, Vann’s campaign manager, says “no plans have been made as of yet” on whether Vann will go to the GOP convention in Tampa.

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.

  • Elwood

    Could it be that he doesn’t want to be associated with the O’bummer coronation?

  • JohnW

    Anyone buying the “son’s wedding” excuse?

    I find it hard to believe that skipping the convention will enhance any candidate’s prospects in a tough district. If I’m a swing voter, is that going to influence my vote? It might, but not in the way they intend.

  • Common Tater

    Just schedule the son’s wedding to conflict with the convention.

    Problem solved !

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Been there, done that is a good excuse this season. Besides, conventions bore most voters when there are few if any surprises in store.

  • Rick K.

    I’d bet that “Live Shot” Garamendi goes to Charlotte. When that guy sees TV cameras, he is like a moth attracted to a dim light bulb. He will hover until he gets his chance to breathe his hot air into the microphone. Too many TV journalists are too ignorant to ask him tough questions, such as his role in the Exec Life scandal (which fellow Democrat Attorney General Bill Lockyer later strongly criticized), his failure to develop an economic development plan during his 3 years as chairman of the California Economic Development Commission, his shady, high-paying job as “Washington, DC investment partner” for his sugar daddy Ron Burkle or his role in helping to get his son John Garamendi, Jr. that $210,000 a year University of California job. UC Davis students are paying higher fees and UC Davis faculty and staff are sacrificing pay and jobs because political insiders like the Garamendis end up with high-priced UC executive positions. Bye, bye “Live Shot,” hello Congresswoman Kim Vann!