No brass bands, balloons or hoopla marked the launch of State Sen. Jeff Denham's latest political campaign today in Modesto & the event was sombre with a tinge of anger.
That's because the campaign is to defeat an effort to have Denham, R-Merced, recalled. The campaign to remove the senator, who represents the western part of Stanislaus County as well as Merced, San Benito and parts of Madera and Monterey counties, began in the aftermath of a battle over the state budget last summer. Democratic leaders singled out Denham for his vote against a budget proposal, and the recall effort qualified for the June 3 ballot last month.
A number of city and county officials and politicians showed up today morning at 1010 10th Street to support Denham.
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Sheriff Adam Christianson praised Denham for his support of law enforcement issues and criticized the recall effort as "partisan politics."
"This is a public safety issue. I can't say enough about the support Sen. Denham has for law enforcement," Christianson said.
Turlock Mayor John Lazar, a Democrat, also decried the recall effort.
"I'm very disappointed in the power brokers in Sacramento trying to tell us who we can and cannot have as a representative," Lazar said. "The senator has done a wonderful job for the community and the City of Turlock."
Turlock City Councilman Ted Howze called the recall effort "A cruel joke on the people of this district.
"Senator Denham is exactly what the voters in this district want. He told the truth — the budget is a mess," Howze said.
Denham characterized the recall effort as an attempt to intimidate him into voting for something he didn't believe was good for the district.
"None of our elected officials should feel intimidated by someone outside the district," Denham said. He will continue to work with other senators throughout the state, Denham said, "But I won't be bullied."
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