The Democrat seeking to flip California’s congressional seat held by retiring Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) bucked trends this week and embraced unpopular House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who hopes to return as Speaker of the House after the November midterm elections.
Democrat congressional candidate Mike Levin has lavished praise on Pelosi as “one of [his] political heroes.” Last week he hosted the Minority Leader for a campaign event.
A photo of the event was posted online showing Pelosi and Levin posing with several people and a huge Mike Levin campaign sign in the background.
Pelosi’s official campaign Twitter account responded to the enthusiastic supporter, “It was so wonderful meeting you!”
It was so wonderful meeting you! 💪✊💁♀️
— Nancy Pelosi (@TeamPelosi) August 29, 2018
Republicans have relished Democrat support for Pelosi’s return to the speakership as a rallying cry for voters as Pelosi’s favorability ratings have a 9-year low. Many Democrats seeking election or re-election have distanced themselves from the unpopular caucus leader.
Most voters said they were less likely to support a candidate that supports Pelosi’s return to the speakership under a Democrat House, according to a June NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. But Levin previously told the New York Daily News, “I can’t imagine we could have a better Speaker should we regain control of the House.”
Levin’s affection for Pelosi may come as no surprise, as Pelosi’s PAC has thrown $14,000 behind him.
More than 84 percent of Levin’s campaign donations come from outside the district he is running to represent, according to Axios, which cited campaign finance records.
Republican Diane Harkey came out first in California’s June “jungle primary,” followed by Levin, although there were slightly more Democrats voting in the 49th congressional district than Republicans.
She has served on the California Board of Equalization and in that capacity became the highest ranking elected Republican in the state. Before that, she served as a member of the California State Assembly. She also had an approximately 30-year career in banking and finance.
Harkey recently received the full and praising endorsement of President Donald Trump. He called Harkey, “an extraordinary woman of great accomplishment & potential.” Trump added, “Diane is strong on crime, loves our Military & Vets-has my total Endorsement!”
Democrats fiercely targeted the district as Issa ran for re-election against Democrat Doug Applegate in 2016. President Barack Obama even held a fundraiser for Applegate in San Diego. Ultimately, Issa held on to his seat by a less than one percent margin . Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the 49th congressional district by 7.5 points in 2016, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The Beacon highlighted Levin’s donor base in the Bay Area — Pelosi’s home turf — and cited OpenSecrets in naming Levin’s two top sources of individual contributions: Google’s parent company, Alphabet, Inc., and liberal organization Swing Left.
Harkey has raised over $700,00 primarily from donors within her district, according to the report. Her top five contributors were businesses or businessmen. Four of the five were identified as living in the 49th congressional district.