McNerney (D-CA-11)

RESULT: Jerry McNerney (D) 55% - Dean Andal (R) 45%

The Race:

Wind engineer Jerry McNerney beat 14-year incumbent Rep. Richard Pombo, R-CA, by seven points in what The Cook Report called “one of the most surprising upsets of the 2006 cycle.” [The Cook Report, accessed 8/20/08] McNerney lost by 22 points in 2004 but came back in 2006 when Pombo was tied to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and made campaign mistakes. [Los Angeles Times, 10/14/06; San Francisco Chronicle, 11/5/06] This year, McNerney is defending his seat against former state Assemblyman Dean Andal, who has half as much cash on hand according to Inside Politics. [Inside Politics, 7/31/08] Andal is a veteran of California politics and according to the Contra Costa Times, “Those who know him say he’s a smart and savvy campaigner who will waste no time lobbying East Bay Republicans for their votes.” [Contra Costa Times, 5/16/07] However, some reports say that Andal has been a fundraising disappointment. Politico reported, “One of the most highly touted GOP House recruits is turning out to be one of the party’s weakest fundraisers, a development that has national Republicans wondering whether a prime opportunity to pick off a vulnerable Democratic freshman is slipping away.” [, 7/21/08]

Although immigration has not emerged as a major issue in the race, the State Republican Party has attacked McNerney and his fellow Democrats for failing to “tackle the problem of illegal immigration and [allegedly] breaking House rules to deliver taxpayer-funded benefits to illegal immigrants.” [California Republican Party, 11/1/07]