WatchSonoma Watch

Huffman a likely shoo-in for Congress


Democratic Assemblyman Jared Huffman is a safe bet to win the North Coast seat in Congress in the Nov. 6 election, filling the vacancy created by Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s retirement after 20 years on Capitol Hill.

Jared Huffman; Dan Roberts (PD FIle)

Huffman, who is termed out of his Sonoma-Marin County Assembly seat, picked up Woolsey’s endorsement after dominating the June primary with 37.5 percent of the vote in a 12-candidate race.

More telling, however, is that Huffman and seven other Democrats tallied 75 percent of the vote in a district where Democrats account for nearly half of the 397,600 registered voters.

Republicans and voters with no party preference each have about 22 percent.

Huffman, 48, of San Rafael publicly launched his campaign in December 2010, on the day Woolsey confirmed her impending retirement.

He’s run a textbook campaign, starting with an advantage in name recognition after six years in Sacramento. He has raised more than $1.24 million in campaign contributions and amassed more than 800 endorsements.

His Republican opponent, Dan Roberts, a Tiburon securities broker, finished second in the primary with 15 percent of the vote and has financed his campaign largely with his own loans of $210,000.

Roberts, 69, said in jest that he’d like stormy weather on Election Day to hold down voter turnout — “and I need a miracle.”

The North Coast hasn’t been in play politically since Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, stepped up from the state Senate in 1998 and won the first of seven straight terms by an average 65 percent of the vote.

Thompson, who also endorsed Huffman, was shifted this year to a new inland district that includes his Napa County home.

Huffman, a former environmental attorney, said he favors investing in infrastructure, education and clean energy as well as cutting the military budget and “promoting tax fairness,” steps that are “essential to effectively and fairly resolving our fiscal problems.”

In the Assembly this year, Huffman proposed 17 bills and got seven approved and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, while one giving doctors more authority over prescribing pain medication was vetoed. As a freshman in a Republican-controlled House, he’d be a lot less likely to make such an impact, experts say.

But Huffman said the House seniority system is “less ossified” than ever, allowing relatively new members to make an impact. He also has a potential ally in House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, whose San Francisco district borders Huffman’s Assembly district.

“I’ve got to build that relationship,” Huffman said, noting he met Pelosi in her Washington office a few months ago.

While some analysts think the scenario is a longshot, Huffman thinks Democrats have a chance at winning the 25 seats needed to regain a House majority, a prospect that’s more likely if President Barack Obama wins re-election, Huffman said.

Roberts said he is “running hard until the end” on a somewhat independent platform.

“Washington is broken and both parties have failed us,” he said.

As owner of a securities dealership for 26 years, Roberts said he has “the know-how to take on the Wall Street crooks” and a businessman’s ability to “create jobs and manage a budget.”

Roberts said he advocates a “smaller federal government” through spending cuts, followed by corporate and individual tax cuts.

He would eliminate “unnecessary environmental regulations” that hamper economic development, such as a new oil refinery in California that could ease gasoline prices.

The 2nd Congressional District stretches from Marin County to the Oregon border, excluding Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati and Sonoma Valley.

Age: 48
Residence: San Rafael
Occupation: State assemblyman since 2006
Experience: Former environmental attorney
Party: Democratic
Website: jaredhuffman.com

Age: 69
Residence: Tiburon
Occupation: Securities broker
Experience: Marine Corps veteran, Vietnam war; Citizens League of Marin past president
Party: Republican
Website: www.danrobertsforcongress.com

You can reach Staff Writer Guy Kovner at 521-5457 or guy.kovner@pressdemocrat.com.

13 Responses to “Huffman a likely shoo-in for Congress”

  1. Jean Anderson says:


    If people are too ignorant or biased to admit it, that’s their problem.

  2. Skippy says:

    Jared will learn a new definition of futility when he sits on the tiny Democrat side of the Congressional aisle.
    At least he will be earning his Federal pension while the Republicans undo 4 years of anti-Americanism from the White House.

  3. GAJ says:

    Is a “broken promise” a lie?

    If so, PolitiFact has 86 promises Obama made while campaigning 4 years ago that he has not kept.

    Are those “lies”?

    The left throws that perjorative around like its confetti when it suits them.

  4. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Beef King-Romney doesn’t do anything BUT lie. And lie. AND LIE. Your candidate IS A LIAR. And he’s been taking money from American workers and small businesses his whole working life. Currently he has an ad HE WILL NOT PULL that Crysler plans to take their jeep plants to another country. Crysler has said OVER AND OVER AGAIN that they are ADDING 2 NEW PLANTS IN THIS COUNTRY not sending plants overseas. The auto industry has been working WITH the President. They are more likely to dismantle and head for China IF ROMNEY IS PRESIDENT with all the additional tax breaks they will get. And maybe you didn’t know, but check THIS LINK OUT:


    And he’s currently profiting through Bain who is dismantling Sensata and sending the company and all it’s jobs to China.

    You fail to state how Obama lied. Is this something you heard from Rush? Or on Faux No News?

  5. Western Cluebird says:

    Here is the WSC poll done in April, 2011, before Dan Roberts announced that he was running:

    Who should replace Rep. Lynn Woolsey if she retires in 2012?

    Norman Solomon (34%, 202 Votes)
    None of the above (27%, 162 Votes)
    Jared Huffman (22%, 129 Votes)
    Shirlee Zane (7%, 41 Votes)
    Noreen Evans (5%, 32 Votes)
    Pam Torliatt (5%, 27 Votes)

    Jared Huffman was soooo popular that he got 33 fewer votes than the “none of the above” option.No wonder he is a shoe-in.

    On April 8, 2011 when speaking at the Santa Rosa J.C.about budget cuts and their impact on public education, Jared Huffman said “Why are we here and why does this feel like Deja Vu?” and “If there is a spending problem, I wish I could be a part of it”.
    Then he said “As we dealt with this crisis, we havn’t been entirely honest. We’ve used temporary borrowing, shifting and gimmicks. An 18 billion deficit was advertised as ballanced when actually it was about 7 billion short.”
    It is a 26 billion dollar crisis now.

    If elected,I’m sure he will give us the same kind of leadership that we’ve had from Lynn Woolsey for the past 20 years.
    What could possibly go wrong?

    On the plus side, Norman Solomon is not in the running.

  6. Reality Check says:

    One wonders what is the news value in this kind of story? Yes, Democrats routinely win around here. Does one need to subscribe to the PD for that information? I don’t think so.

    Worse, far worse, it–to use a word Democrats like–suppresses the vote. Why bother voting if the outcome is obvious?

  7. Wilson says:

    What a way to not endorse a candidate PD. What a way to impartially report on the candidates so the public can make an informed choice. You should be ashamed of yourselves, printing propaganda like this.

    Partially thanks to that tool Huffman, I will be re-registering after the elections as “decline to state”. I am pretty fed up with both major parties, especially with all of the Republican politicians around here wearing Democrat disguises. I am even more fed up with the manipulation of the truth by our local media.

    My vote is going to Dan Roberts, simply because he isn’t jared huffman. Give me a thumbs down if you don’t like honesty.

  8. Graeme Wellington says:

    No need for endorsements in the Press Democrat? Just declare winners in advance. No need to write stories about the issues or question candidates on their positions or provide any facts a reader needs to make a good decision.

    The paper just lazily reports that Sonoma County is going to knee-jerk their vote for the Democrat. Any wonder the print news is going to disappear?

    Just think. If you actually did objective news stories there would be a reason to buy the paper. What a waste and what a pity.

  9. Still Bewildered says:

    And ANOTHER Democratic endorsement concealed as news! How long will it take for the Press Democrat to get ALL the candidates they endorse covered this way? Seems they have a great start so far. PD, you must think the new owners are idiots, or too far away to worry about. But, you already think the voters are idiots for not being able to see this, so I guess you’ll just keep on keepin’ on…

  10. Critic at Large says:

    All of these stories in the Press Democrat about the shoe in democrats running for Congress have one main objective. Discourage people from voting who would vote for the opponent. Why waste your time, your candidate isn’t going to win so why vote. It is an old democrat trick.

    People need to wake up and forget the left wing press, the bias polls and vote for who they believe will help create jobs and improve this economy.

    Don’t be tricked by democrat propaganda.

  11. Frank says:

    I’m still casting my vote for DAN ROBERTS,
    Huffman will put us on the bread line

  12. BigDogatPlay says:

    Huffman a shoo-in for Congress

    Fixed that for you….. sad, but very true. It really stinks to be both disenfranchised and unrepresented as I have been in Congress since the days of John Burton.

  13. Beef King says:

    President Obama has been caught lying to the public and the PD won’t run the story?
    I know this won’t make it to the light of day, but I personally am offended the PD calls itself a “NEWS” paper.
    Thanks for letting me spew, I’m pissed.