Lodi native Ricky Gill told a Republican group on Wednesday that he will focus his congressional campaign squarely on the record of Democratic opponent Jerry McNerney.
Addressing the Lodi Republican Women at its monthly luncheon at Woodbridge Crossing, Gill, 24, said that McNerney has shown a “breach of trust” in several areas. They include:
- McNerney’s alleged failure to author legislation designed to clean up the federal bureaucracy in his five years representing the Lodi area in Congress.
- McNerney voting against a bill that would encourage free trade, which would benefit local farmers.
- Taking five years to announce on the House floor his opposition to the Peripheral Canal.
- Convening a variety of advisory panels on different levels of expertise, yet failing to follow through on their recommendations.
- Requiring small businesses to go through a long bureaucratic process to gain credit.
- The federal government’s new health care plan.
- McNerney’s plan to move to San Joaquin County and run in the newly created District 9 rather than remain at his Pleasanton home. San Joaquin County hasn’t been represented by a county resident in Congress, Assembly or State Senate for several years.
While McNerney moving to San Joaquin County would change that trend, the county’s local representative would be from a new county resident if McNerney wins.
Gill, a lifelong Lodi resident except for during his college education, will compete against McNerney, a Democrat from Pleasanton, and little-known Republican John McDonald, who lives in Mountain House, west of Tracy.
They will square off in the June primary next year, the first in California’s new open-primary system where candidates from all political parties will be on the same ballot. If any candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the June 2012 primary, that candidate will win immediately and not have to face the runner-up in the general election five months later.
Congressional candidates have until March 9, 2012 to file a declaration of candidacy from the Registrar of Voters for each county in the district.
Gill never mentioned McDonald’s candidacy in his remarks on Wednesday, but he later said that McDonald will have to do a lot more than file for office.
“Our focus is Jerry McNerney,” Gill said.
McNerney spokeswoman Lauren Smith responded later Wednesday to Gill’s charges against McNerney.
- Congress approved an ethics package in 2007.
- He voted against free-trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia despite support by President Barack Obama and both parties of Congress because they didn’t eliminate outsourcing jobs to foreign countries.
- Regarding the Peripheral Canal, McNerney and four other Northern California members of Congress met with Jerry Meral, deputy secretary for the California Natural Resource Agency, about their concern over the proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which they say would harm the Delta region.
“I challenge Ricky Gill, who hasn’t worked a day in his life, to produce a resume,” Smith said. “What does he know about creating jobs in San Joaquin County?”
Gill also told the Lodi Area Republicans that McNerney is beholden to special-interest groups by taking donations from sources outside the 9th District. Meanwhile, Gill maintains that his contributions are limited to individuals.
Smith responded later Wednesday that McNerney has received many small donations from individuals as well.
“The donations of under $100 is staggering,” Smith said.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.