Feinstein, Boxer endorse Mike Honda for 2014

Add California’s U.S. Senators to the cavalcade of Democratic stars giving early endorsements to Rep. Mike Honda as he tries to neutralize a potential challenge from a fellow Democrat.

“I’m proud to endorse Congressman Mike Honda,” U.S. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a news release issued today by Honda’s campaign. “He works tirelessly for the people he represents and is an important leader on issues such as helping to create jobs and improving our schools. He is a champion for Silicon Valley and I’m glad to offer him my support.”

“The people of the 17th Congressional District need Mike Honda’s strong voice now more than ever,” U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said in the same release. “I am proud to endorse such an effective leader for education, innovation, and families throughout the region and country.”

Ro Khanna, a former Obama administration Commerce Department official with $1.26 million in his campaign coffers, is rumored to be announcing a 2014 campaign against Honda soon. He declined to comment on the senators’ endorsements Monday, just as he had when Honda rolled out endorsements this year from President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the chairs of the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and others.

Honda thanked the senators for their support. “We all agree that the formula for growth in Silicon Valley jobs is straightforward. It requires smart and targeted incentives to help companies locate and grow here while accessing our unique and diverse workforce, and providing our students with the education they’ll need to compete.”

Honda issued poll results last week showing he had a 52-point lead over Khanna – not surprising, considering Honda, 71, has served in Congress since 2000 and Khanna, 36, hasn’t even declared his candidacy yet.

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.

  • RR senile columnist

    What’s up with the endless fascination with RoK?

  • GV Haste

    More freaking out on the part of Honda.
    With every new endorsement it makes you wonder why Honda is so insecure.

    Its like he’s trying to scare Ro away.

    Apparently Honda is really worried.
    Watch his waistline. If he drops 35 pounds, then he is making a serious effort to hold his seat.

  • JohnW


    What would you do if somebody was eyeballing your job with a $1.3 million war chest? On top of all his other problems, one big mistake made by Pete Stark was not taking his challenger seriously and being clueless about the fact that the world had changed due to redistricting and Open Primary / Top Two.

    If RoK soon announces, it’s going to get wild. There were a number of Dem vs Dem races in 2012 due to redistricting, including the new CD 15. But taking on a well-liked incumbent of the same party in an established district is a new twist. It happens fairly often on the Republican side these days due to “You can never be right-wing enough” Tea Party primary challenges. But not on the Dem side.

  • Elwood

    “Its like he’s trying to scare Ro away.”

    Wow, that’s ASTUTE!

    Did you have to go to school to learn to think like that?

  • GV Haste

    JohnW… Honda should be scared. That is healthy.
    However the time honored tatic to head towards the hard core party base is no longer the route to victory.
    With the top-two ( the most wonderful change in decades) it is now important to begin to appeal to those in the middle and even on the right.

    Seems like he is lining up the support of the geriatric crowd. Feinstein, Boxer, Pelosi, all matching or exceeding him in age.
    Probably a nice guy, saying all the PC things, but its very questionable that he has the ideas and vision to bring the district into this century.

    I’m not in that district, but if I was, I’d be inclined to let him go… and take my chances on Ro having a better future.
    Not wanting to kick him out, like with Stark, but still sending him into retirement now rather than just postponing it for 2 or 4 years.

    For the future!

  • GV Haste

    Sorry I’m not up to your MENSA standards Elwood.

    We all realize we can’t match the brilliance of your posts.

  • Independent Voter

    All of these old-timers are really looking out for each other, aren’t they? If Khanna decides to run it will be interesting to see what the mean average of each candidate’s endorsements are. It will probably be mid 70’s for Honda and late 40’s for Khanna.

    The sense of entitlement amongst the California delegation amazes me. They believe they should have the right to die in their elected office if they wish to. They obviously don’t care about mentoring and stepping aside for a younger generation of leaders. They are selfish and out of touch.

    I agree with GV Haste. The top-two primary is the most wonderful change in decades. The best part about it is that it was put into law by the voters, not a bunch of sleazy, out-of-touch, geriatric politicians. I hope Khanna runs. Honda may have the momentum now, but I don’t think it will take long for Khanna to suck the wind right out of his sails!

    Honda needs to go. Out with the old and in with the new. Onward for the future!

  • Elwood

    “Honda needs to go.”

    Why? Because he’s 71 years old?

    That’s pure ageist bull****.

    If you want to criticize his record or his allegiance to the dimmiecrat party, that’s perfectly legitimate.

    But the age thing is bull****.

  • RR Senile Columnist

    Let RoK buy the seat for $1m. Plus and donate the cash to public schools.

  • Bluecollar voter.

    It’s no surprise all these elderly 70’s era baby boomer politicians are lining up to support Mike Honda, he’s from the same generation – he’s about the same age as they are, mid 70’s or closing in on 80.
    While these endorsements are nice – I guess – if you look at this district it’s over-flowing with young 25 year old high tech workers – highly educated high tech workers – I think these voters will be open to a younger candidate – especially a candidate with a lot of new ideas, a high energy -type candidate ( nobody can describe Honda as high energy).
    I’m no political expert – not even close – but I just don’t think these high tech workers will be enamored with a Mike Honda candidacy – if another younger candidate runs. Honda is old, I mean really old. When Honda was 25 – the same age as many of these high tech workers – he was listening to Frankie Avalon and watching Gidget movies.
    These young high tech workers, they like all the latest gadgets, they watch Indy movies, go to watch Indy bands at nightclubs. It’s a group that’s real cutting age, no question. Because of this I just don’t see these voters saying, “hey I like all this cutting edge stuff, but when I go to vote I’m sticking with old Hush Puppie wearing Mike Honda, he’s my guy”.
    What I’m trying to say here this huge new cohort of young voters in the 17th district – who are the future of course – are really up for grabs. A young, energized candidate – a candidate with fresh ideas and lot’s of energy – can easily capture this district, that’s my read.
    Because the voting population is changing in this district – you have all these young voters now, I think these endorsements from Boxer, Fienstein, and Pelsoi etc, etc. won’t carry much weight. I think this young high tech group will be inclined to tune these elderly politicians out, that’s my educated guess. I hear the war drums breaking out in the 17th, you’ve got an aging, not very effective incumbent – running scared – and a candidate with lot of ideas – and money – like Ro Khanna. My guess is you will see a repeat of the Stark-Swalwell race. Why? Because you can’t keep the younger generation in abeyance – they want to lead too, Pelosi and other big shots aren’t perceptive enough to see this, they are living in the past. Roh Khana, and candidates like him – and Eric Swlawell – are the future, Pelosi ought to getting her people behind candidates like this, but sadly she is opting for running an incumbent-protection racket.

  • Elwood
  • JohnW

    This should be fun.

  • Josh Richman

    In case you missed it, our full story on the Khanna-Honda throwdown is here.

  • Elwood

    @ Josh #13

    Don’t believe that one made the CCTimes (an edition of the San Jose Mercury News).