WatchSonoma Watch

Huffman takes early lead in congressional race

Jared Huffman


Two early campaign polls show Democratic Assemblyman Jared Huffman leading the race for Congress in the new North Coast district.

But it’s less clear who’d get the second spot in a June open primary that sends the top two vote-getters to the November 2012 general election.

“At this early stage, it’s a race for second place,” said David McCuan, a political science professor at Sonoma State University.

An internal poll by Huffman found him with 20 percent of the vote, followed by lone Republican Dan Roberts with 18 percent and Democrat Norman Solomon with 7 percent.

Dan Roberts

About 37 percent were undecided.

Solomon’s own campaign poll put Huffman at 16 percent, trailed by Roberts with 12 percent and Solomon with 11 percent. About 46 percent of respondents were undecided.

Both polls were done earlier this month and sampled at least 400 voters in the newly-drawn, Democrat-heavy House district that stretches from Marin County to the Oregon border.

Democrats Susan Adams, Andy Caffrey, William Courtney,  Stacey Lawson and Tiffany Renee had 5 percent or less.

Norman Solomon

The candidates are vying to succeed Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, who is leaving next year after 20 years in Congress.

All parties compete in June’s open primary, and the top two finishers — regardless of party affiliation — go to the runoff in November.

Huffman and Solomon were predictably upbeat about the results Friday.

“It validates the path we’ve been on,” said Huffman. “I’m going to work harder than ever.”

Solomon said his poll shows he’s gaining on Huffman.

“It’s clear the gap has been closing this fall,” Solomon said. “It does seem to be between Jared Huffman and myself.”

Petaluma political consultant Brian Sobel, who has donated $2,500 to Huffman’s campaign according to federal elections records, said early campaign polls should be taken with a grain of salt.

“Right now these polls mean very little,” he said. “It’s so far away from decision day.”

The large number of undecided voters in both polls indicate they’re not ready to commit, Sobel said.

There’s still time for other candidates to enter the race, he said.

7 Responses to “Huffman takes early lead in congressional race”

  1. Greg Karraker says:

    Huffman is no Lynn Woolsey? That’s the first encouraging thing I’ve heard about him.

  2. paul says:

    Huffman is no Lynn Woolsey! We deserve better.

  3. Angie Henderson says:

    Isn’t Brian Sobel the mastermind behind the Sonoma Business Alliance’s racist mailer against Pam Torliatt? Why would Jared Huffman want his support? If Huffman is truly a democrat he would send that check back.

  4. sarkyfish says:

    Thanks to Truth Teller, more intellectual corruption is uncovered in the PD’s editorial department.

  5. Ted Appel says:

    That is a fair criticism, Truth Teller. I’ve updated the story to reflect that contribution. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Ted Appel
    WSC Moderator

  6. Sobel supporting Huffman? says:

    Brian Sobel? Seriously? Mr. Republican? He must know something many Democrats don’t about Huffman’s true colors. Scary stuff here. We need a real Democrat to take over for a real Democrat. Someone principled who isn’t afraid take a stand – unlike Huffman who refuses to take a position on Dutra. I guess it worked out – he got the endorsement from pro Dutra Chris Snyder and his Local 3. This seals the deal for me – I’m backing Solomon. Can’t trust Jared if people like Sobel and Snyder are throwing money his way. Wake up Democrats, Huffman’s not who you think. Thank you Truth Teller for pointing this out. Shame on PD for not acknowledging Sobel’s ties to Huffman. Shame on Democrats who ignore this at our own peril and vote for Huffman – rather than a real progressive leader. Don’t accept fake substitutes for leadership – get the real thing and vote Solomon if you want honesty and integrity – and a real commitment to Democratic ideals.

  7. Truth Teller says:

    Why does the Press Democrat continue to turn to Brian Sobel for commentary on this race?

    Don’t they know he gave the maximum amount of $2500 to Jared Huffman in May of this year?

    It seems unethical for the PD to be quoting him without qualifying his statement.

    He’s hardly an impartial observer.