A two-year resident of the new community of Mountain House has announced his candidacy for the 9th Congressional seat held by Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton.
Republican John McDonald becomes the third candidate to seek McNerney's seat. McNerney plans to move to San Joaquin County and seek re-election in the newly created 9th District. Lodi resident Ricky Gill, a Republican, is also running.
McDonald has never run for public office before, and he doesn't seem to be well known in the district. Former Republican Assemblyman Dean Andal said he's never heard of McDonald.
McDonald, 43, purchased a foreclosed home in Mountain House, a planned community west of Tracy off Interstate 580. He chose to commute from Mountain House to Santa Clara, where he is a semiconductor executive. He said he couldn't afford to buy a house in Cupertino, his previous residence.
In a News-Sentinel phone interview on Wednesday, McDonald said he strongly opposes the high-speed rail project linking Northern and Southern California. Instead, he would prefer tax dollars spent on alleviating traffic on Interstate 580 across the Altamont Pass.
McDonald said he also supports a 0 percent capital gains tax for new companies that start between now and 2013. Eliminating the capital gains tax rate, he said, would create thousands of new companies and hundreds of thousands of new jobs throughout the nation.
McDonald said he wants to avoid negative campaigning and will not bad-mouth McNerney or Gill. While he opposes the Democratic health care plan, McDonald said he will not level personal attacks against President Barack Obama or other supporters of the plan.
Admitting that he "slips" and utters an occasional personal attack, McDonald said he's hired a liberal Democrat to make sure he avoids personal attacks or other inappropriate remarks. He admitted that those kinds of slips are not appropriate.
McDonald said that one of his frustrations — even in his own party — is the tendency to criticize a position or bill, but not offer a solution.
"I think the Republicans' message comes out extremely muddled," he said.
McDonald said that on his website, he explains thoroughly why he's for or against something rather than writing sound bites. In fact, he says he's been criticized for giving too much detail.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.