ELECTION 2014 | CONGRESS | 15TH DISTRICT | Rep. Eric Swalwell may very well win the endorsement of the statewide party, but Alameda County Democrats made it a bit more difficult Saturday afternoon at a pre-endorsement meeting in advance of next month’s party convention in Los Angeles.
Swalwell, who received 45 votes, fell short of gaining the 70 percent threshold needed for pre-endorsement by seven votes. State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett tallied 26 votes, and three registered no endorsement.
Depending on the spin of Saturday’s results, Swalwell either came within a hair of winning the endorsement or the number of ballots punched for Corbett reveals a local party still skeptical about their first-term congressman. Residual loyalty, by some, for Corbett, a long-time public official in the area, who has served the area for nearly two decades may also explain Saturday’s vote.
On Twitter, Corbett called the results unprecedented for an incumbent member of Congress in Alameda County to fail to win the party’s pre-endorsement. “When was the last time #CA15 incumbent didn’t get enough votes for endorsement @CA_Dem @CADemRegion2 Pre-Endorsement Conference? Never Before Today!”
Nonetheless, Swalwell still has the inside track to gain the statewide party’s backing next month when the question will be debated on the convention floor. According to party bylaws, Swalwell, as the incumbent, only needs a simple majority of the votes to win in this round of the endorsement process, rather than the 70 percent tally needed this weekend. Generally speaking, the Democratic Party’s statewide imprimatur is often the most important endorsement a candidate will receive.