Mark Leno gets Pelosi's endorsement

May 31, 2008 5:48:32 PM PDT
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi weighed-in on one of the Bay Area's most closely followed elections. In the race for California's Third Senate District, Pelosi says she's throwing her support behind Mark Leno.

Four days before the June primary, Pelosi's heavyweight endorsement of Mark Leno brings the spotlight back to an important local race.

"I've known Mark for a long time. I have known about his leadership. I have confidence in him as a fighter for Democratic principles," says Pelosi.

Assemblyman Leno is trying to unseat incumbent Carole Migden to become the state Senator of District 3 -- an area that includes the eastern half of San Francisco, Marin County and parts of Sonoma County.

"We can't let this slip through our fingers. We're fighting for the progressive values, the vision, and that is why we have to get this work down," says Leno.

We found Migden's camp working at her 9th Street campaign office. As a seasoned politician, Migden would not speak directly about Pelosi's endorsement, but touted her own power hitter list.

"I have the very good fortune of having Senator Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein , the California Nurses Association and League of Conservation Voters. Put my team up against anyone else's and it's a competitive race."

Migden and Leno share a similar progressive resume. Both began their public careers as a San Francisco supervisor and both are high profile leaders in the gay community. Leno says he sees the Senate seat as a contest between him and Joe Nation, the former San Rafael Assemblyman.

Nation says what's at issue is representation for constituents outside of the city.

"I'm not surprised by the endorsement because it's just about San Francisco politicians banding together to keep a San Francisco seat, or what they view as a San Francisco seat. The truth is it's been 30 years since the North Bay has had someone who lives here represent them in the state Senate."

All three Democrats agree the key to winning this primary is to get out the vote for an otherwise low profile ballot. If you live in District 3, expect a campaign phone call or even a knock at the door between now and Tuesday's election.


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