Sunday, May 31, 2015

Khanna's 2016 campaign team will have a more local flair

Ro Khanna's 2014 bid to unseat Rep. Mike Honda in CA17 had all the earmarks of a national campaign. His second attempt, announced Saturday in Santa Clara, will be different.
Ro Khanna’s much-ballyhooed hiring two years ago of Jeremy Bird and other alums of President Obama's re-election team for his campaign against Rep. Mike Honda in the Seventeenth Congressional District was an early part of his campaign’s narrative, including an attention-getting feature in Time magazine.

Khanna’s campaign team for the 2016 rematch has not yet been named, but Khanna says he will make an announcement shortly. However, don’t expect any high-priced out-of-state political consultants being on the payroll this time.

Instead, word is the team, at least, in the early going, will all hail from California and have a mixture of aides with previous campaign experience in South Bay races. The Seventeenth District runs from a portion of Fremont through Silicon Valley and parts of San Jose.

Silicon Valley angel investor and Obama acolyte Steve Spinner, however, is again serving as Khanna's campaign chair.

And there are already signs Khanna intends to bring a very local flavor to the race through his advocacy recently for several grassroots causes in the district.

Of course, Khanna has never had trouble raising millions for his campaign. But, last year his team also had no problem spending it to the point its treasury was nearly depleted for the important stretch run last October.

To be fair, a large portion of Khanna’s early campaign spending focused on introducing him to district through television commercials and numerous mailers and lining the pockets of Bird's 270 Strategies, but the intent to spend more wisely this time around could have a great impact on the 2016 race.

Nevertheless, Khanna only lost by 3.6 percent of the vote, a spread thin enough for contributors, through their checkbooks, to urge for another run in 2016.


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