Political Notebook

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, a Democrat, endorses Swearengin

If Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin hopes to be the state’s next controller, almost everyone agrees, she’s going to need lots of support from independents and Democrats.

On Tuesday, she got just that when San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, a Democrat, gave her his endorsement.

“Ashley Swearengin and I have worked together as part of the Big Ten Mayors, a bi-partisan group organized to focus on statewide issues impacting our residents and taxpayers,” Reed says in a statement released by Swearengin’s campaign. “She demonstrated the leadership and determination that we need to reform government and improve efficiency without regard to party labels.”

Swearengin is facing Democrat Betty Yee, a state Board of Equalization member who lives in Alameda. Political experts have dubbed Yee the favorite because of the state’s dismal Republican voter registration level and the current dominance of the Democratic Party. It remains to be seen how much Reed’s support will help Swearengin.

Democratic political strategist Steve Maviglio says not at all. In fact, he says, it might end up helping Yee.

“Chuck is a lame duck who is hugely unpopular in his own community,” Maviglio said. He tweeted that Reed was a DINO — a “Democrat in name only.”

The endorsement “only fires up the unions” who so far have been lukewarm about the race, Maviglio said. Reed is “public enemy number one for organized labor.”