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Ex- Democratic hopeful supporting Republican

The Associated Press
Friday October 27, 2000

SAN JOSE— Bill Peacock, the leading opponent of Democrat Mike Honda in the March primary, is crossing party lines to endorse Republican Jim Cunneen in the hotly contested 15th Congressional District race. 

The endorsement coup for Cunneen, announced Wednesday, is another sign of the blurred lines that have marked the tossup Silicon Valley race. 

The Democratic Party has targeted the seat as one of six it needs to regain control of the House of Representatives. 

But in a move against his party, Peacock, a high-tech investor and Portola Valley businessman, said he will endorse Cunneen. 

It’s not a case of sour grapes, said Peacock, a lifelong Democrat and former Carter administration assistant secretary of the Army. Peacock said he spent six months researching the records of the two candidates – both are state assemblymen – before making the decision. 

“In a heartbeat, if (Honda) were to move up to the state Senate, I’d write him a check,” Peacock said. “But I think Jim Cunneen, with his education and high-tech background, is a far better bet to represent the needs of all the people in the 15th Congressional District.” 

Peacock also said he agrees on issues more often with Cunneen than Honda. 

During the March primary, Honda was the front-runner in a Democratic field of five. He faced tough competition from Peacock, who spent nearly $1 million of his own money on the race. Honda raised $139,000. 

Honda won the party nomination with 40 percent of the votes, nearly triple Peacock’s total. 

“It’s obviously a disappointment when a Democrat abandons his party,” said Honda’s campaign spokesman Vince Duffy. “But he’s entitled to his opinion and we wish him well in his further endeavors.” 

Democrats boast a 45-36 percent voter registration advantage in the upscale district. But voters elected Tom Campbell, a moderate Republican, for the past four terms. Now, Campbell is running for the Senate against Democrat Dianne Feinstein.