San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed

CONGRESS | 17TH DISTRICT | Any illusions Ro Khanna is a progressive may have been erased with an endorsement Monday from public employee pension crusader and San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.

Reed’s endorsement may signal a move by Khanna’s campaign to accentuate his credentials to moderate voters. However, it does little to lure progressives away from Honda and, more likely, emboldens their support for the incumbent who was rated this year one of the most liberal members of Congress, according to rankings from the National Journal. Honda, Khanna and Reed are all Democrats.

Furthermore, these types of announcements are typically notable for what the endorser says about the candidate. Not so in this case. “Chuck Reed is an American hero and I’m truly honored to have his endorsement,” said Khanna. “Mayor Reed’s willingness to choose what’s best in the long term over what’s most politically expedient makes him a rare public servant. His endorsement reflects the growing consensus that the 17th district simply can’t afford Congressman Honda’s ineffectiveness any longer.”

Despite an earlier and significant fundraising advantage, Khanna is currently in an uphill battle this November. The district, which covers portions of Fremont to San Jose, gave Honda a strong 21-point victory over Khanna and two Republican challengers in the June primary.