LaMalfa won’t come out and play, but he doesn’t have to

Rep. Doug LaMalfa Riding high

Rep. Doug LaMalfa
Riding high

Rep. Doug LaMalfa will be seeking re-election to his first Congressional district seat in November, but apparently isn’t worried about winning a second term.

Most candidates are grabbing all of the face time they can get with voters just four weeks before the primary, but LaMalfa is a no-show. He turned down a chance to appear at a League of Women Voters forum in Grass Valley Thursday, and ducked a similar invitation in Reading.

LaMalfa’s office told the Nevada County LWV that Congress would be in session the day of the forum, and he had to be in Washington for any votes that came up. But he did inquire about opportunities for the general election, according to Ruth Schwartz, voter service chairwoman of the LWV.

The incumbent has also ducked several interview requests from The Union, which reports that his campaign web site apparently hasn’t been updated since 2012. So is LaMalfa being over-confident? Not likely.

LaMalfa faces three challengers–two Democrats and one Republican–who have two things in common: Little name recognition and no money. (Bonus points if you can name any of the challengers.) Like Gov. Jerry Brown, LaMalfa has plenty of campaign money and little opposition to worry about.

Don’t expect the state Democratic Party to come to the aid of the party’s nominee, either Heidi Hall or Dan Levine. The party will perform the equivalent of political triage, putting a token amount of money into races it can’t win while spending the big bucks on Congressional Democrats who are vulnerable in November.

According to the political pundits, there are three Democrats in danger: Rep. Paul Ruiz (Palm Springs), Rep. Scott Peters (San Diego) and Rep. Ami Bera (Sacramento). It shouldn’t surprise anybody that each has already raised more $1 million to fight off their November challengers.

LaMalfa will start appearing at friendly venues in the district after Labor Day, and will spend the money necessary to drown out his Democratic opponent, but his re-election campaign will require little more effort than swatting flies.

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