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Obama endorses Rep. Pete Stark

May 18, 2012 |  1:41 pm

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Bay Area congressman Pete Stark, facing a strong challenge from within his own Democratic Party, on Friday announced his endorsement by President Obama.

“Congressman Pete Stark is a tireless champion for all of the [15th Congressional District’s] working families,” Obama said in a statement released by the Stark campaign.

Stark, of Fremont, is the most senior member of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee and served as its chairman when Democrats held the majority in the House.

Democrat Eric Swalwell is challenging Stark in the June 5 primary in a matchup  that is widely expected to extend to the fall general election under the state's new "top two" primary system.  Swalwell, a Dublin city councilman and an Alameda County deputy district attorney, has racked up endorsements from some area elected officials.

The only other candidate on the June 5 primary ballot is Christopher J. Pareja, a tea party affiliate running  as an independent. Democrats hold a 48%-24%  registration edge over Republicans, with 22% of voters declining to affiliate with any state-recognized political party.

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--Jean Merl

Photo: President Obama stepping off Air Force One earlier this month. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

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