California 4th District election preview: Tom McClintock vs. Brynne Kennedy

  • Six-term Rep. Tom McClintock will face Democrat Brynne Kennedy in California’s 4th Congressional District. 
  • The district is located in east-central California and is home to all of the counties of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorade, Maripose, and Tuolumne. 
  • The two candidates were chosen through California’s “top-two primary” system which places the top two candidates in the state’s primary on the November ballot, regardless of party.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Six-term incumbent Rep. Tom McClintock will square off against Democratic challenger Brynne Kennedy in November in California’s 4th Congressional District.

California currently has a “top-two primary” system, meaning that the top two winners of the primary election go on the final ballot, regardless of their political party.

The candidates

McClintock is a former California state assemblyman and state senator, positions he held for a total of 12 years. Before running for a position in the U.S. House of Representatives, McClintock ran for the office of state controller in 1994 and 1992, governor in the 2003 recall gubernatorial election, and lieutenant governor in the 2006 gubernatorial election, losing in every single one. 

In Congress, McClintock serves on the House Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Natural Resources, focusing many of his efforts on natural resource issues important to California. McClintock has sided with President Donald Trump 88% of the time in his voting record since 2017, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Kennedy is a former United States gymnast and business owner of the software company Topia. She is a former columnist for the Financial Times and is the author of a book on employee mobility. Her campaign is focused on strengthening the Affordable Care Act, combatting wildfire threats, and modernizing the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

In 2018, McClintock defeated Democratic challenger Jessica Morse by eight percentage points,

Editorial: We recommend Tom Oliverson in Texas House District 130

Representing what has been a solidly Republican district, two-term incumbent Tom Oliverson is a conservative advocate for robust Second Amendment rights and a limited role for government. His children are homeschooled, he staunchly opposes abortion rights, and has prioritized expanding religious liberty.

During the 2017 session of the Legislature, when a bill banning transgender people from using using public bathrooms matching their gender identity dominated debate, Oliverson authored a bill that would have provided a religious exemption for discrimination against LGBT people. Neither bill became law and after losing seats in the next election, Republicans shifted their focus.

A medical doctor specializing in anesthesia, Oliverson has a solid track record sponsoring bipartisan bills including protection against surprise billing for emergency room visits. Last session, with a lift from Democratic Rep. Senfronia Thompson, a bill Oliverson co-authored requiring pharmaceutical companies to justify price jumps became law. And in the face of projected budget shortfalls, he says he will work to protect the increased education funding passed in 2019.

“I’m willing to work with anyone who is willing to work with me,” Oliverson told the editorial board, adding, “Good policy isn’t partisan.”

It is based on that attitude that we recommend Oliverson for re-election, despite misgivings.

His Twitter account, for instance, is often divisive. We are also troubled by photos of him not wearing a mask in situations where physical distancing was not possible. With COVID-19 continuing to devastate lives and our economy, we expect more from a physician leader.

Democratic challenger Bryan Henry was a 2019 Texas Council for Social Studies high school teacher of the year and now teaches at a community college. His home flooded during Harvey and he stresses the need for flood mitigation as well as slowing climate change. We were impressed by Henry’s depth of knowledge