As part of an effort to bolster his bipartisan bona fides, Republican Doug Ose on Tuesday announced a coalition of Democrats supporting him instead of freshman Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove.
Ose, a former three-term congressman, said the dozens of Democratic elected officials, community leaders and residents plan to help with his bid to regain a House seat. They include Sacramento County Supervisor Jimmie Yee, Citrus Heights Mayor Mel Turner and James Shelby, head of the Greater Sacramento Urban League.
Many of the individuals listed on campaign materials are personal friends. Shelby said Ose helped steer federal money to low-income communities throughout Sacramento County. “He knew I was a Democrat, but it didn’t matter. What mattered to him was getting stuff done. And he did,” he said.
Yee, who is retiring and originally announced his support for Ose before the primary, said he’s known the former congressman for 35 years and that they are close. “That’s why I am supporting him,” Yee said.
Ose has been critical of Bera’s role in the bipartisan group No Labels and has repeatedly cast Bera’s membership in the organization’s Problem Solvers Coalition as a way to mask the congressman’s largely party-line voting record. Bera has touted his endorsement by the group, which was co-founded by Mark McKinnon, a Democrat-turned-Republican who worked for President George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain during his presidential run.
“Congressman Bera claims to be leading the charge to find bipartisan solutions, however his record proves otherwise,” Ose said on Tuesday. “Supporting Nancy Pelosi and party bosses nearly 90 percent of the time is anything but bipartisanship.”
Bera’s campaign spokeswoman said Ose was “desperately” trying to distract voters from his “radical record in Congress ...”
“He voted with his party 94 percent of the time, including supporting a plan to privatize Social Security – a plan that would have enriched himself and his Wall Street friends at the expense of middle class Sacramento County families,” Allison Teixeira said.