Sandre Swanson in Oakland last January.

As a lonely Republican in the deep blue East Bay, former state Senate candidate Rich Kinney doesn’t have much to offer other than his help in cajoling reluctant conservatives to choose between two very progressive candidates in the Ninth District. Will it be Sandre Swanson or Nancy Skinner?

Kinney, who garnered 8.3 percent of the June primary vote, is endorsing Swanson—arguably the more progressive of two General Election choices, albeit only by slight shades of difference.

While calling Swanson “our best choice” this November, Kinney said, “Though I am a Republican and he’s a Democrat, we agree that our hardworking people must be able to keep more of their income to care for their families and expand the middle class.” Kinney also serves as the mayor of San Pablo.

San Pablo Mayor Rich Kinney

In hindsight, the seeds of Kinney’s support was evident during the primary election season earlier this year. He was often more critical of his other Democratic opponent, Skinner than Swanson. Particularly, Skinner’s $1 million campaign war chest bolstered heavily by fundraising accrued during her years in the Assembly.

He alluded to the fact in a statement Wednesday, declaring, “Let’s stop the manipulation and control of special interest big money campaign contributions by electing someone dedicated to ‘We the People’ and start the change we know we need and want to see.”

Swanson, however, is going to need every advantage he can find over the next two months to close Skinner’s steep, nearly18-point lead from the June primary. In addition, Skinner continues to maintain a 10-to-1 or greater fundraising advantage over Swanson. A fact that has dominated this race from the start.