The Club for Growth on Wednesday endorsed state Sen. Tom McClintock in his bid for the 4th district Republican nomination, and he will likely benefit from the fundraising prowess of club members as well as the independent expenditure ads the organization usually runs on behalf of the candidates it backs.
McClintock’s main opponent in the June 3 GOP primary is former Rep. Doug Ose, who retired from the 3rd district in 2004. Ose on Monday reported a personal donation to his campaign of $500,000, bringing the total personal funds he has injected so far to $849,000 and tripping the Federal Election Commission’s “Millionaires’ Amendment” in the process.
As a result, McClintock will be able to collect a maximum of $6,900 from each individual campaign donor for the primary, triple the normal limit.
The Club for Growth had endorsed former state Sen. Rico Oller, but he dropped out of the 4th district GOP primary after McClintock jumped in. McClintock is a popular figure among California Republicans, with strong name identification throughout the state.
“As a member of the California State Legislature, McClintock has consistently spoken out against higher taxes and spending,” said a news release from the Club for Growth announcing its endorsement. “In contrast, McClintock’s primary opponent, former Congressman Doug Ose, has a lackluster record that includes voting for increased spending, increased regulation, and limiting economic freedom.”
Neither Ose nor McClintock hail from the 4th district, which encompasses the suburbs and foothills just east of Sacramento.
Ose is from the adjacent Northern California 3rd district, while McClintock currently holds a state Senate seat in Southern California, near Rep. Elton Gallegly’s (R) 24th district.
Ose has been active on the campaign front since announcing for the race. Last weekend he hosted a campaign kickoff event, and he has been blanketing the district with direct mail for weeks.
Ose also recently picked up an endorsement from the California Narcotic Officers’ Association.
The solidly Republican 4th district opened up when Rep. John Doolittle (R) decided to retire. The winner of the GOP primary will probably face 2006 nominee Charlie Brown (D) in November.
— David M. Drucker