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Takada bows out, supports Emken

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Takada bows out, supports Emken

Elizabeth Emken – who is vying for the Republican nomination in the 11th congressional district to challenge two-term incumbent Jerry McNerney – receives the backing of former candidate...


POSTED March 18, 2010 2:59 a.m.
Elizabeth Emken couldn’t have found a better supporter for her congressional race than Jeff Takada.

Especially in the heavily conservative South County where Takada – a 1997 East Union graduate who dropped out of the race for the 11th congressional district last week because of the exorbitant cost of running a campaign – grew up and knows the ins and outs of the people and the politics.

On Wednesday afternoon, Takada (previously known as Jeff Wells during his high school days and during his tenure as a reporter at The Bulletin) threw his support behind the Danville-based Emken who quit her lucrative full-time job as the government relations director of Autism Speaks to dedicate herself to the campaign full-time.

With a solid fundraising campaign currently underway, Emken – who raised $30,000 last week from a combination of local and national donors – is hoping to not only earn the Republican nomination and end up on the ballot in November, but plans to unseat two-time incumbent Jerry McNerney. She contends McNerney only votes the party line with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“Together we share the same feeling that it’s time for the Republican Party to have a fresh face – somebody that’s not a professional politician,” Emken said during her speech in front of Manteca City Hall. “It’s not too late to correct the mess in Washington, and I’m hopeful that Nancy Pelosi can be stopped before she does any more damage.”

While Takada has been somewhat of a crowd favorite with his witty remarks and his pointed responses to questions, the vow he made to his family to not go into debt to finance the campaign ultimately caught up with him. Other candidates were forwarding themselves upwards of $500,000, and Takada said that such a move is just fiscally irresponsible – especially given what that money is going towards.

But not wanting to leave the race completely, Takada found the one person he felt he had the most in common with and decided to align his campaign efforts with Emken’s staff.

“First of all she’s just a citizen candidate – she’s the epitome of a real person who says what she means. She saw a problem in Washington and saw what she felt was misrepresentation and didn’t shy away – she decided to tackle it head on,” Takada said. “She’s not a political insider or a career politician, and that’s the kind of person I want to see representing us back on Capitol Hill.”

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