default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Aide says Matthews pushed to face Pombo

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, June 8, 2005 10:00 pm

National Democrats are trying to recruit California Assemblywoman Barbara Matthews, D-Tracy, to run for the U.S. Congressional seat held by Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, according to Matthews' chief of staff Cathleen Galgiani.

Galgiani said that House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, called California Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Nunez, D-Los Angeles, on Monday and asked him to personally ask Matthews to run.

Matthews has not made a decision to run or set a timetable for announcing one, Galgiani said.

A spokesman for Nunez's office said Wednesday that Nunez does not comment on personal conversations. Officials with Pelosi's office in Washington D.C. could not confirm by press time whether she had made the request of Nunez.

This is not the first time Matthews has been asked to challenge Pombo, Galgiani said. However, it is the first time that such a request has come directly from so high in the Democratic power structure.

"Barbara was asked after the last election would run, and at the time she said no," Galgiani said.

Matthews trounced Republican challenger Nelly McGarry in that election last fall by a margin of 60.3 percent to 39.7 percent.

This was despite running in a district that largely mirrors Pombo's congressional district, which has been widely considered safely Republican. The 17th District that Matthews represents includes both Tracy and about half a Stockton.

"She has a good voting record for the district and did extremely well in the last election," Galgiani said of her boss.

For instance, Galgiani said, Matthews was a big supporter of the University of California Merced. The school will open its doors in the fall as the first new UC since 1965 and the first located in the San Joaquin Valley.

Galgiani said Matthews is also considered strong on two of Pombo's pet issues: fiscal responsibility and agriculture policy. Galgiani noted Matthews' efforts in combating wasteful buying patterns in the state and her work as chair of the Assembly's Agriculture Committee.

Another vote that may help was Matthews' decision last week to vote against the bill proposed by Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, that would have legalized gay marriage in the state. Matthews said she voted against the bill in order to reflect the wishes of her constituents. The bill ultimately failed 37-36.

Next year, Matthews will be termed out after three two-year terms in the Assembly. Galgiani has already announced that she will seek her boss's seat.

The name that had been circulated in recent weeks as a challenger to Pombo was that of state senator Mike Machado, D-Linden. Machado's press secretary, Jody Fuji, said that she Machado had not yet made a decision. She added that they had not yet heard anything of Pelosi's recruitment of Matthews.

Pombo is one of a small group of Republicans whom Democrats appear to be targeting in the election cycle, partially due to the perception that he has had been caught up in recent ethics scandals and has a close relationship with House majority leader Tom Delay, R-Texas.

Pombo has denied any connection to embattled lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and accused Democrats of "scandal-shopping" in the press.

"The guy's never lobbied me on anything," Pombo said.

Associate Editor Ben van der Meer contributed to this report.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 90


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists