At the risk of inviting snide asides, journalists don't create candidates. Candidates themselves are responsible for building credible campaigns. If they do, we will report on them.
Unfortunately, in too many instances, incumbents are facing no serious challenge in this year's election. In those lopsided races, The Bee is opting to issue no endorsement. We wish it were different.
We've had some real differences with Sen. Dianne Feinstein on water and other issues. But the San Francisco Democrat who has served 20 years in the U.S. Senate and will be 85 at the end of the new term will surely win on Nov. 6, with little need to defend her record.
That Feinstein is getting a free ride is yet another sign that the California Republican Party is disintegrating. Her Republican opponent, Elizabeth Emken, is thoughtful, and might be a strong candidate for some other office.
But against Feinstein, she has raised virtually no money.
Emken's campaign seems to consist mainly of issuing snarky emails, several of which challenge Feinstein to a debate. Entertaining though a debate might be, Feinstein, savvy politician that she is, is well within her rights to decline those invitations.
We also have issues with Rep. Tom McClintock, the Elk Grove Republican who is running in a newly drawn district that doesn't include Elk Grove, and instead extends from Lake Tahoe past Yosemite.
His opponent, Democrat Jack Uppal, has gained even less traction than Emken.
In Sacramento, U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui faces no serious opposition. Neither do Democrats Roger Dickinson and Richard Pan in their campaigns for the Assembly.
The same is true in Davis, where Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada and Sen. Lois Wolk will be re-elected to final two-year and four-year terms.
We can only hope that once potential candidates understand how the new top-two primary system works, moderates and independents will come forward to challenge seemingly safe members of Congress and the Legislature. Competition makes for better representation.
In statewide races, California will remain a Democratic state for the foreseeable future. Perplexed Republican leaders have no clue who might mount a serious candidacy for governor in 2014, let alone who might run for attorney general, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, controller or insurance commissioner.
Maybe the GOP should run help-wanted ads seeking viable candidates, preferably ones with money of their own. Better yet, perhaps independents will emerge. One thing is certain: Voters lose when incumbents of either party don't face serious challengers, and in a lot of districts, they are losing this year.
To read the full text of The Bee's endorsements to date, go to:
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