Campaigns down to wire for Brown and McClintock

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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It’s stretch-run time for 4th District congressional candidates Charlie Brown and Tom McClintock. The closing of polls Tuesday will signal the end of a campaign that unofficially started two years ago for Brown after a close loss to current Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville. For McClintock, the campaign has been ongoing since he announced he was running in the primary last spring to find a new Republican flag-bearer to replace the retiring congressman. Brown, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who lives in Roseville, held an event in his hometown Friday to distribute $40,000 — a percentage of campaign donations he raised — for non-profits that help veterans. “This weekend he’ll be talking to voters on the phone and on the street – trying to hit every corner we can,” Brown spokesman Todd Stenhouse said Friday. “We have a flood of volunteers coming in and the last few days are about reaching voters, whether it’s Republican, decline to state, Green, Libertarian or Democratic Party.” In the McClintock camp, spokesman Bill George said that with up to half of all voters already casting their ballots by mail, the final push isn’t as intense as it was in elections a few years ago. The weekend will see McClintock, a state senator who represents Ventura County but lives in Elk Grove, walking precincts and helping to motivate volunteers, George said. Also on the agenda were a series of radio interviews, he said. Through campaign advertising, both sides say they’re attempting to show the differences between the candidates. “We’re keeping the same strategy we’ve had the whole time — making sharp distinctions between Charlie Brown’s and our candidate’s plans and record,” George said. On issues like Prop. 4 and the bailout, for instance, the candidates have clear differences, he said. “This election is about solving problems,” Stenhouse said. “It’s about electing a candidate with a record and resolving problems for 20 or 30 years, not just one election cycle.” The McClintock camp cites poll results conducted Oct. 21 and 22 by pollster Val Smith that indicated the GOP candidate led by a margin of 49 percent to 40 percent. “The tracking shows we are on the same trajectory, if not a little better,” George said. “We expect to do very well in Placer County.” The Brown campaign has received a “tsunami of support” and the campaign is moving into the final few days with optimism, Stenhouse said, not citing polling results. “Everything we’ve heard and seen is it’s a close election,” Stenhouse said. “Ultimately, the poll that counts is Tuesday.” The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at or comment at