Papan campaign earns scolding

U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo-San Francisco, said recently she is “deeply disappointed” in Assembly candidate Gina Papan after Papan invoked Speier’s name in campaign advertising, giving the possible appearance of an endorsement she hasn’t earned.

The political dustup has caused Papan to pull a television ad — in which she says, “I’ll pick up where Jackie Speier left off in the state Capitol” — from local cable stations.

Papan is running against San Mateo County Supervisor Jerry Hill and San Mateo Community College Board President Richard Holober in the Democratic primary for the 19th Assembly District seat, which is being vacated by termed-out legislator Gene Mullin. The district seat includes most of the Peninsula.

Speier claims two direct-mail pieces that went to homes last week, as well as the television spot, wrongly imply that Speier has endorsed the Millbrae mayor.

The U.S. House member has not made an endorsement in the race.

“Recently, I have been surprised to see my name used in Gina Papan’s campaign material,” she said in a statement released Saturday.

“I am deeply disappointed in Gina. Using my name as an implication that I have endorsed her is incorrect. I have not endorsed Gina in her race for the 19th Assembly seat, and I expect her to stop running any ads or disseminating any material that implies I have.”

On Monday, Papan said she only meant to convey her admiration for Speier and the work she’s done in the Legislature.

“I wanted to give voters a clear idea of the kind of legislator I would be. Jackie Speier has served this county well for many years — she has been a tireless advocate for education, health care and the environment. I share these passions,” Papan said.

Papan campaign aide Katie Bromme on Monday confirmed that Papan’s television spot has beenreplaced with a new advertisement that doesn’t mention Speier.

Papan’s rivals in the Assembly race were both critical of the ads that mentioned Speier.

“I think it’s certainly inappropriate to try to mislead the voters into thinking something is true when it’s not,” Hill said. “I was surprised when I saw the ads.”

Holober called the mailers and television spot “deceptive advertising.”

tbarak@sfexaminer.com

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