Did the State Democratic Party just show its hand in the All-Dem SD7 race?

The state party’s financial support for Susan Bonilla
in the SD7 intraparty race may signal desperation.

STATE SENTATE | DISTRICT 7 | Never before has the California Democratic Party open its wallet to defeat one of its own. But political familicide is now a precedent-setting strategy in the hotly-contested Seventh State Senate District race between Democrats Susan Bonilla and Steve Glazer.

The state Democratic had already endorsed Bonilla, an Assemblymember in the 14th District, but like other frequently occurring intraparty race since the onset of open primaries in California three years ago, no money had officially changed hands in a race without an incumbent until this week.

According to the campaign finance reports, Bonilla received $73,000 in contributions from the state party, which was first reported Friday by the Sacramento Bee. The expenditure went toward mailers in support of Bonilla, the paper reported.

Because of the potentially precedent-setting tone of the contributions, it also suggests Bonilla’s campaign is feeling significantly challenged by Glazer’s surge since before the primary last March in which he easily won.

A special election was ordered for the Seventh District after Rep. Mark DeSaulnier won a seat in Congress last November to replace the retiring George Miller. The general election is set for May 19.

Meanwhile, similar to the primary, voters in the district that runs across Contra Costa County and the Tri Valley in Alameda County, have again be inundated with dozens of campaign mailers paid for with special interest money nearing $5 million, both, in favor and against each candidate. In some cases, the tenor of the mailers–by law, unaffiliated with each campaign–have been highly negative.

One piece sent by a labor-backed expenditure committee suggested Glazer was hostile towards women, which elicited a response in opposition from Glazer’s wife, who said he was not. And on Friday, Bonilla’s campaign condemned a mailer sent by the business-related expenditure group named JobsPAC, which featured school children along with the ominous tagline, “sexual abuse by a teacher can happen anywhere.” Bonilla’s campaign said the ads “sink to a new low.”

In a televised candidate forum last week, Glazer referenced the massive influx of money and mailers by telling voters to deposit them in their recycling bin.

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