By The Hill Staff - 10/18/05 12:00 AM EDT
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has enlisted the support of key Democrats in his bid to change California’s redistricting system, which would likely alter the makeup of the state’s 53-member congressional delegation.
Chellie Pingree, president of Common Cause and a former Democratic Senate candidate from Maine, former San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan and former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery announced their support yesterday for Proposition 77, the redistricting plan.
The measure is on the ballot next month in California.
Democrats and a handful of Republicans in the state staunchly oppose Proposition 77, which would shift redistricting from the state legislature to a panel of retired judges.
The proposition, along with two other measures the governor is pushing, is considered a referendum of sorts on the governor’s first term. Next year, California voters will decide whether they want to keep Schwarzenegger around for a second term.
Rep. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), considered one of the three top contenders for the Senate seat held by Jon Corzine (D-N.J.), raised more than $400,000 in the third quarter of the year, bringing his cash on hand to nearly $4.2 million.
Corzine is running in next month’s New Jersey gubernatorial race. If he wins, he must appoint a successor. Menendez and Reps. Robert Andrews and Frank Pallone, both Democrats, are the names most often mentioned by Democrats in Washington and New Jersey.
One leading concern for Democrats, presumably, will be how much money the newly appointed senator has in the bank, given that the appointee must run for a full, six-year term next year.
Unlike Democrats, who could face a primary should Corzine appoint one of the House members to fill his shoes, Republicans have rallied around state Sen. Thomas Kean Jr., the son of former Gov. Thomas Kean, as their candidate for a potential Senate seat.
In a possible sign that Republicans may face more intraparty challenges than expected, conservative real-estate developer John Jacob is running against Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah) in a GOP primary.
Immigration policy tops Jacob’s concerns.
The challenge comes as conservatives across the country are voicing frustration with GOP leaders in Washington — over the stalled GOP agenda on Capitol Hill, the president’s plan for Hurricane Katrina victims and the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, among other issues.
Both Cannon and Jacob are millionaires. In the third quarter of the year, Jacob, who won his fifth term in 2004 with 61 percent of the vote, raised a little more than $49,000; his cash on hand is $70,333, according to his Federal Election Commission report.
Leading Republicans in the state had expected former West Virginia University basketball coach Gale Catlett to challenge Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) next year, but so far the coach has kept quiet about his plans.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-W.Va.) announcement that she would not enter the Senate race earlier this month cleared the way for a Catlett candidacy, Republicans said.
Byrd, meanwhile, continues to build his campaign war chest. In the third quarter of 2005, he raised $924,000, according to a statement released by the senator’s office.
While the senator touted recent endorsements — including one from the United Mine Workers of America — the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has highlighted support Byrd has received from the liberal group MoveOn.org.