McClintock challenger goes Hog Wild in Placerville
In the last few weeks, Art Moore convened with business owners at Gar Woods Grill and Pier in Carnelian Bay.
He learned about California’s bread basket from the Madera County Farm Bureau and cheered on the state’s Olympians at a homecoming in Squaw Valley. Moore met with seniors in Roseville, gathered with veterans in Foresthill and joined families for an egg hunt in Granite Bay. There was breakfast at Heidi’s Family Restaurant in South Lake Tahoe and lunch at Hog Wild BBQ in Placerville.
For Moore, 36, it’s all new territory as he mounts an unexpected challenge to Rep. Tom McClintock, a conservative icon in California.
A Susanville native who recently moved to Roseville from Alexandria, Va...
He waited until the filing deadline to announce his campaign, a strategy designed to prevent McClintock, R-Elk Grove, and his supporters from recruiting a Democratic challenger. Under the state’s new primary system, the top-two finishers regardless of party advance to November, so Moore is now expected to spend months battling McClintock.
The incumbent has taken notice. McClintock sent letters to donors asking for contributions to help him fight what he calls a “total liberal takeover” of the race. He noted that in the days leading up to the filing deadline, three Democrats pulled papers for the race but withdrew.
“I am facing this year a candidate who obviously coordinated with the Democrats to manipulate the candidate field in an attempt to flip this seat,” he told donors in one missive. “Even if it’s not successful, they will have caused the waste of Republican resources in a solid Republican district and pushed the Democratic narrative of a ‘civil war in the Republican Party’ into the November election when we all need to be pulling together.”
Incumbent seen as vulnerable
The 4th District, which takes in Yosemite and Lake Tahoe and covers 10 counties from Placer to Fresno, was not expected to produce a competitive contest this year, given its decidedly Republican bent. Since winning a squeaker six years ago over Democrat Charlie Brown (the race was so close that both candidates attended the House’s freshman orientation), McClintock has had little trouble fending off challengers. But Moore contends he’s vulnerable.
McClintock doesn’t fight for the district’s share of federal dollars, Moore said, and too often shuns constituents he doesn’t agree with. Although the challenger cast himself as every bit as conservative, he said voters are not so much looking for a representative whose every position they agree with as much as someone who gives them the best chance at a functional government. Moore said, unlike McClintock, he would not have voted last year to shut down the government...
Rosalie Ann Wohlfromm of the Auburn Area Democratic Club offered words of encouragement and then a warning: “If you become like McClintock, I am going to be really ticked off,” she said.
“I will, too,” Moore replied.
‘I think he’s being used’
Not everyone has been welcoming. In Placer County, Republican Party officials at a recent meeting assailed Moore for taking on their endorsed representative.
“We have a challenger to Congressman McClintock who hasn’t even been involved in the process, and he hasn’t even lifted a finger for the Republican Party, but he wants to be our congressman,” said Ken Campbell, a tea party activist and central committee member for the party in Placer County.
Moore tried to interject from the back of the room. He was rebuffed, and the complaints continued.
Dennis Revell, the group’s chairman, dismissed him as politically naive and said he was unprepared when he came to meet him. He said Moore didn’t appear to know Revell was McClintock’s ex-officio appointee to the committee or understand that the group had already endorsed the congressman.
“He’s trying to do the right thing in his own mind, but I think he’s being used and misled by those who are promoting him,” he said.
McClintock calls Moore a “Manchurian candidate” who would campaign as a conservative but serve as a liberal Republican in office. He points to dozens of town meetings he has held and his relationship with many local elected officials as evidence of his close ties to the district...