Capitol Alert

Ami Bera to Democrats: ‘We are not going to agree on everything’

Rep. Ami Bera during a debate with Republican former Rep. Doug Ose for the 7th Congressional District, at KVIE studios on Oct. 8, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif.
Rep. Ami Bera during a debate with Republican former Rep. Doug Ose for the 7th Congressional District, at KVIE studios on Oct. 8, 2014, in Sacramento, Calif. jvillegas@sacbee.com

Rep. Ami Bera says he knows some liberal activists aren’t keen on endorsing him.

But the Elk Grove Democrat emphasizes he will continue to seek their support while looking out for the broader interests of his closely divided swing district.

“I understand we are not going to agree on everything, but we’ve got to look at the bigger picture of how you get Washington unstuck and move things forward,” Bera said in an interview late Thursday.

Bera was responding to word that some Democrats are withholding their support for him, citing his moderate voting record. They also submitted a successful petition to move his Democratic endorsement from a formality to a regional vote, raising the possibility of a contested vote at the state party convention next month in San Jose.

“I am going to go back through and call through the list again and see if folks want to set up one-on-one calls,” Bera said at the event in Sacramento’s Oak Park.

Bera said he has worked to explain his rationale for breaking ranks with many in his party – and organized labor – to give President Barack Obama fast-track trade promotion authority. Bera also noted he has not made a decision on the trade agreement itself, which has yet to come before Congress.

He is no stranger to expensive contests against Republicans, and this time is being challenged by Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones. On Thursday, as question about his party endorsement swirled, Bera said he would continue working with Democrats and Republicans as part of a long-held pledge.

He added: “I think that’s why I get reelected – representing my district, which has a lot of independent voters, has a lot of Democratic voters, has a lot of Republican voters.”

Editor’s note: This post was updated to correct inaccurate information provided by the state Democratic Party about its endorsement process.

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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