Capitol Alert

Ami Bera snubbed by California labor group in endorsement list

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, meets with Editorial Board members at the Sacramento Bee on June 1. The California Labor Federation, which has backed Bera in past elections, made no endorsement recommendation for Bera’s re-election.
Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, meets with Editorial Board members at the Sacramento Bee on June 1. The California Labor Federation, which has backed Bera in past elections, made no endorsement recommendation for Bera’s re-election. hamezcua@sacbee.com

If Rep. Ami Bera is to win a third term this fall, he will have to do it without an endorsement from the influential California Labor Federation, which has clashed with the Elk Grove Democrat over trade policy in recent months.

The 2.1 million-member group, which backed Bera in the past, announced Wednesday that it would make no endorsement recommendation for Sacramento County’s 7th Congressional District. The seat was among the most competitive House battlegrounds in 2014 and Bera this year faces Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, a Republican.

Most of the candidates endorsed Wednesday are Democrats. Yet in some Democrat-held districts, the federation made no recommendation or referred the matter to its executive board. Those districts include the 47th Assembly District, where Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown, D-San Bernardino, faces Democrat Eloise Gomez Reyes, who has received significant financial backing from some unions.

It also made no endorsement in the 39th Assembly District, where Assemblywoman Patty Lopez, D-San Fernando, finished behind former Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, and the 7th Senate District in the East Bay. State Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, overcame heavy union opposition in his 2015 special election.

In other districts, the federation endorsed incumbent Republicans, including at least one at-risk GOP lawmaker. Assemblyman Eric Linder, R-Corona, who received less than the combined vote of two Democrats in the June primary, will face Sabrina Cervantes, D-Riverside, in the fall.

“For a Republican, he has a decent voting record” on labor issues, federation spokesman Steve Smith said of Linder, who previously had been endorsed by SEIU California.

The federation also endorsed Attorney General Kamala Harris in her race for U.S. Senate and came out against Proposition 53, which would require a vote on revenue bonds of more than $2 billion, and Proposition 54, a measure backed by Republican benefactor Charles Munger Jr. that would require legislation to be in print 72 hours before votes.

The full list of endorsements is here.

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