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California: Liberal Group Backs Lori Saldana in Competitive District

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee today will make its first endorsement in California this cycle, backing Lori Saldana in the 52nd district top-two primary.

Saldana, a former state Assemblywoman, and San Diego Port Commission Chairman Scott Peters are the two leading Democrats running to take on Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) in this San Diego district. They will all compete on June 5 to advance to the general election in one of several districts in the state Democrats hope to pick up.

“She is a bold progressive fighter who will be a strong ally of Elizabeth Warren in Congress,” PCCC co-founders Stephanie Taylor and Adam Green wrote in an email to supporters, referring to the Massachusetts Senate candidate they are enthusiastically supporting.

The PCCC, which traditionally backs liberal Democrats, has endorsed in other forthcoming Democratic primaries this year: state Sen. Eric Griego in New Mexico’s 1st district, state Speaker Chris Donovan in Connecticut’s 5th district and 2010 nominee Ann McLane Kuster in New Hampshire’s 2nd district. The group also backed former organizer Ilya Sheyman’s unsuccessful bid in Illinois’ 10th district.

The endorsement offers a fundraising funnel that could help Saldana catch up to her opponents. After picking up the pace in the first quarter, Saldana ended March with $96,000 in the bank. Peters had $251,000 on hand, and Bilbray had $787,000.

Republicans have a small edge in voter registration, but President Barack Obama would have won the district in 2008 by 12 points. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has included the district in its Red to Blue program.

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