Imagine a Republican county supervisor from Crescent City winning the North Coast seat in Congress and holding onto it for 20 years. That’s what happened when Don Clausen, a World War II veteran, won the 1962 election in a district that stretched — as it does now, with some variations — from Marin County to Oregon. But that area of rugged coastline and liberal-leaning voters now has no Republicans in Congress or the Legislature, nor does any GOP candidate have a shouting chance of success in today’s election.
Unbeaten in 10 straight political races and buoyed by his usual large campaign warchest, Rep. Mike Thompson appears headed for re-election to Congress in the Nov. 6 election. The St. Helena Democrat is running in a new district that stretches from Santa Rosa inland to Vallejo. But like his old coastal district, Democrats enjoy a better than 2-to-1 advantage over Republicans in voter registration in the new 5th Congressional District.
Rep. Mike Thompson’s bid for an eighth straight term in Congress was assured as he grabbed 72 percent of the vote Tuesday night. Vying for second place in the new 5th Congressional District were two Republican newcomers, Randy Loftin of Napa and Stewart Cilley of Rohnert Park.
Two Republican newcomers are all that stand between Rep. Mike Thompson and an eighth straight term in Congress. Thompson, a Democrat from St. Helena who has never lost an election, has more than $1.2 million in campaign cash. His opponents in the June 5 primary — Stewart John Cilley of Rohnert Park and Randy Loftin of Napa — have less than $10,000 between them. Democrats dominate the new 5th Congressional District, which includes Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati and Sonoma Valley, with 52 percent of registered voters, compared with 22 percent Republicans.