Two Washington D.C. political organizations on Monday reported that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was moving millions of dollars in television advertising from Democratic Party challengers to incumbents in tight races.
One of the losers in this political shell game, according to the news agency Politico and The Hill, a newspaper that covers Congress and national politics, is Sanger Democrat Amanda Renteria, who is challenging incumbent Republican David Valadao of Hanford.
The news comes a day before Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to headline a rally at Cal State Bakersfield that features Renteria and state Sen. Alex Padilla, a Los Angeles-area Democrat who is running for secretary of state. It also comes just four weeks before Election Day and very day absentee ballots are mailed to voters.
In other words, crunch time.
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Renteria campaign spokeswoman Maria Machuca, however, downplayed the development. She said Renteria has received a lot of support from Democrats in general and the state Democratic Party in particular, including opening three field offices in the Valley.
“We feel that we are going to have the best field opertation in the Central Valley,” Machuca said. “Our campaign is all about grassroots efforts and not TV ads. We are not concerned. For us, it’s not a big deal.”
Both Politico and The Hill said the DCCC is cutting back in nearly a dozen districts current held by Republicans. Besides Renteria in the 21st District, the northern San Joaquin Valley’s 10th Congressional District — currently held by Turlock Republican Jeff Denham — is another where DCCC is taking away resources. Denham is being challenged by Democrat Michael Eggman.
That DCCC money is instead going to help four Democratic lawmakers in tight reelection campaigns, as well as a competitive seat held by a Nebraska Republican and an open seat in Iowa.
“Ad reservations are changing every week, and Amanda Renteria is running an aggressive campaign in a tough climate that exposes Congressman David Valadao’s record of prioritizing the special interests over the middle class,” DCCC spokesman Tyrone Gayle said in a written statement.
The DCCC’s decision doesn’t mean 21st District ads supporting Renteria will dry up. Renteria is already running ads, and there is the possibility that independent groups could weigh in either on her behalf or against Valadao. Still, Valadao’s campaign staff saw the development as a desertion of Renteria.
“Amanda Renteria has spent the last 10 years living in Washington DC, she has earned the support of Vice President Biden, Nancy Pelosi and radical environmental groups like the Natural Resource Defense Council,” Valadao campaign spokesman Tal Eslick said. “But now even national Democrats are now distancing themselves from her dishonest campaign.”