These districts are similar. Each has an incumbent. It’s Republicans Dan Lungren and Jeff Denham in CA-7 and 10 and Democrat Jerry McNerney in CA-9. In each the incumbent has no intraparty challenge and will get the most votes in the primary. Each district has a challenger who is highly regarded by his party and not a politician. None should have trouble advancing.
In CA-7 Dan Lungren is once again being challenged by Indian-American Democrat Ami Bera. Bera gave Lungren a decent run in 2010 and is well positioned to do so in 2012. The other candidates in the race perennial Libertarian candidate Doug Tuma and NPP Curt Taras have raised $200. Combined. Both will finish in the low single digits.
In CA-9 Jerry McNerney is being challenged by Indian-American Republican Ricky Gill. Gill does have a Republican challenger, businessman John McDonald. McDonald has raised a meager amount of money and Gill has the state party’s endorsement. McDonald finishing top two would be a major upset.
In CA-10 Jeff Denham is being challenged by astronaut Jose Hernandez, who strangely isn’t Indian-American. There is another Democrat in the race, Mike Barkley, as well as NPP candidates Chad Condit and Troy McComak. None of them has raised any money and Hernandez has the state party endorsement as well as national party support.
The media has focused some attention on Condit, whose chief assets appear to be his decision not to run with either party and that he is the son of a disgraced congressman whose own party drew a congressional district for him to lose. Condit has raised virtually no money and hasn’t given anyone a reason to vote for him. I could see him getting in the high single digits, but he’ll finish nowhere near Hernandez or Denham.
All three of these districts figure to be very competitive in November but they should be ho-hum June 5. It isn’t even worth it watching the returns.