Thursday Mar 06 2008
Placer County GOP brass endorse McClintock
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
Placer County's Republican Central Committee has again shunned 4th District candidate Doug Ose “ this time switching its endorsement from Rico Oller to state Sen. Tom McClintock. Oller, who won the endorsement over Ose last month, dropped out of the June 3 primary race after McClintock's announcement Tuesday in Auburn that he would be seeking the Republican nomination. Democrat Charlie Brown is the presumptive frontrunner on the Democratic Party side. Saying that the central committee has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the fringe of the county Republican Party, an Ose spokesman said that a more credible indicator of support would be the 50 elected and appointed officials in Placer County who endorse Ose, including all five Board of Supervisors members. Ose spokesman Doug Elmets added that the central committee's track record wasn't very good, considering its support for candidate Jerry Simmons two years ago in his losing quest to unseat Lincoln-area Supervisor Robert Weygandt. Tom Hudson, chairman of the county Republican committee, said 24 of a possible 28 voting members were present for an emergency meeting on Wednesday. The vote was 19-5 in favor of endorsing McClintock, he said. The five committee members who voted against the motion were more concerned with providing better notice of the meeting than who was a better candidate, Hudson said. McClintock, who currently serves as senator for Ventura County, was at the meeting and fielded questions after the vote for almost an hour, Hudson said. Ose, who had been present at the previous months meeting when Oller was endorsed, didn't attend, he said. Ose's campaign couldn't be reached for a comment. Both Ose and McClintock live outside the district, which includes Auburn and Placer County. Hudson said McClintock's popularity with local Republicans has been born out several times, when his name has been on the ballot for state office or in primaries against other Republican candidates. McClintock lived in Rocklin for three years in the mid-1990s and served on the Republican Central Committee while heading the privately funded Tax Limitation Committee, Hudson said. The feeling among the central committee members was that McClintock would best represent the interests of the district and have the best chance of beating Brown in November, he added. Charlie Brown spokesman Todd Stenhouse said that he would point out that the committee also endorsed John Doolittle, the current 4th District congressman. Doolittle is being investigated in a Justice Department corruption probe. He's consistently denied any wrongdoing. Doolittle said in January that he would not run for a 10th term, opening the race for a successor. Stenhouse said donations from Republicans and Democrats to the Brown campaign have seen a spike since McClintock announced he would run for the GOP nomination. Brown lives in Roseville. People who want a representative who can find the district and not need driving directions, Stenhouse said. The Journal's Gus Thomson can be reached at email@example.com, or post a comment at auburnjournal.com.