Fearless candidates face off

After dispatching four opponents for a vacant congressional seat in April, Jackie Speier is still the only candidate with any political experience in Tuesday’s primary.

But that’s not stopping a new triad of Democrats from challenging the incumbent and longtime politician Tuesday.

Speier, who dominated April’s special election to fill the remainder of the late Tom Lantos’ term in the House, is now running to fill the seat from January 2009 to January 2011.

Speier, a Democrat, has spent time on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, the state Assembly and the state Senate. None of her opponents have never been elected to public office.

Democratic candidate Michelle McMurry, of San Francisco, was defeated in April’s special election by Speier. She joins Robert Barrows, of San Mateo, and Frank Wade, of San Francisco, as the foursome trying to unseat Speier as the 12th Congressional District’s Democratic candidate in November’s general election.

“I think there’s still time to pull out a win against Jackie,” Barrows said.

Wade said he is running because he “worshipped” Lantos and believes Speier is a foreign-affairs “lightweight.”

“I don’t think the other candidates can fill [Lantos’s] shoes, but I think I can,” Wade said.

McMurry, easily the youngest of the candidates, has a doctorate, is an expert in the health and science fields and worked in Washington asa health and social policy aid for Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.

The two Republicans who entered the April special primary have returned as candidates in Tuesday’s election. Atherton’s Greg Conlon and Foster City’s Mike Moloney, neither of whom has ever held public office, will compete for the Republican nomination after they were both beat by Speier in April’s contest.

“We’re going full blast and not taking anything for granted,” said Conlon, who considers himself the more conservative of the two candidates. “I’ve spent over $50,000 to do something, and it’s not sit on my hands.”

Moloney, who has lost races for this seat four times already, is never afraid to speak his mind. The Republican wants President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to resign and said he thinks they are leading the country into World War III.

Three other candidates running unopposed in their primaries will also compete in the November election: Green Party candidate Barry Hermanson, Libertarian Kevin Dempsey and Peace and Freedom candidate Nathalie Hrizi.

mrosenberg@sfexaminer.com

The 12th Congressional District race

Six candidates are vying for their party’s nomination Tuesday.

ROBERT BARROWS

Party: Democrat

Age: 57

Location: San Mateo

Occupation: Advertising/public relations

Elected offices held: Ran unsuccessfully for this seat in 2006

GREG CONLON

Party: Republican

Age: 74

Location: Atherton

Occupation: Businessman/accountant

Elected offices held: Ran unsuccessfully for this seat in April and state treasurer in 2002

MICHELLE McMURRY

Party: Democrat

Age: 38

Location: San Francisco

Occupation: Health/science

Elected offices held: Ran unsuccessfully for this seat in April

MIKE MOLONEY

Party: Republican

Age: 67

Location: Foster City

Occupation: Retired businessman

Elected offices held: Four previous unsuccessful runs for this seat

JACKIE SPEIER

Party: Democrat

Age: 57

Location: Hillsborough, Washington

Occupation: Congresswoman

Elected offices held: U.S. Congress, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, California state Assembly and Senate

FRANK WADE

Party: Democrat

Age: 59

Location: San Francisco

Occupation: Certified public account

Elected offices held: Never ran for public office

Source: Candidates

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