Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 30, 2014

Honda’s Challenger Debuts First TV Ad in California

Attorney Ro Khanna, a Democrat waging a primary against Democratic Rep. Mike Honda in California’s 17th District, released his first TV ad on Tuesday — a positive spot highlighting his pledge not to accept money from special interests.

“Here’s my promise to you: I will never take money from corporations or lobbyists,” Khanna says in the 30-second spot, which doesn’t mention Honda at any point. “And I’ll say no to the special perks in Congress: no pay raises, no fancy trips funded by special interests, and no gold plated pensions.”

Khanna’s campaign said the ad is backed by a “sizable buy” but would not divulge any specific financial figures or where it will run.

So far, Khanna raised a great deal more cash for the race than Honda. As of the end of the year, Khanna had nearly $2 million cash on hand, as opposed to Honda’s $623,000 in cash on hand.

Khanna has received support from CEOs of tech companies such as Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, among others.

The ad comes as pressure mounts for Honda to attend a debate sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle and other television stations in the district. Thus far, Honda’s campaign has denied the invitation.

Khanna, Honda, as well as Republican physician Vanila Singh and a handful of other lower-tier candidates will face off in a top-two primary on June 3. The two highest vote recipients, regardless of party, will advance to the November general election.

California’s 17th District is rated a Safe Democrat contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

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