Cakewalk For LaMalfa Likely; ‘Debate’ Monday In Mountain Town

Sep 17, 2018

The second and final chance for voters in California’s giant 1st Congressional District to size up the contenders in person is scheduled for Monday evening. Despite voter enthusiasm across the U.S. the location may rule out massive crowds.

Despite indications that Republicans are facing headwinds nationally, for local Democrats incumbent Doug LaMalfa may be untouchable. Republicans have held most of the territory now in CD1 since 1975.

The Cook Political Report rates California’s 1st Congressional District as “solid Republican” and gives LaMalfa an unsurmountable 11 point lead.

In the 2016 contest, President Donald Trump trounced former first lady Hillary Clinton 56 to 36, a 20 point spread. Any supposed ‘blue wave’ would need exceptional heights for the race to be competitive.

Nevertheless, Democratic candidate Audrey Denney is running a more spirited campaign than recent contenders.

According to the most recent campaign finance disclosures, ending June 30th, LaMalfa raised close to $600,000 with Denney raising a bit more than half of that amount. 

Half of LaMalfa’s haul came from Political Action Committees, compared to less than 2 percent for Denney. In terms of small individual contributions – an indicator of grass roots support – a little over 2 percent of LaMalfa’s war chest came in that form, compared to 37 percent for Denney.

Just two co-appearances were scheduled. The first was held Sunday evening in Anderson. The second and final, moderated by the League of Women Voters of Plumas County, is scheduled for Monday evening at the Graeagle Fire Hall, 7620 State Route 89 in Graeagle.

The location is about an hour and a half drive from Susanville, two hours from Grass Valley, two and a half hours from Chico and about three hours from Redding and Alturas.

A call to LaMalfa’s campaign spokesman Mark Spannagle was not returned by press time.