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laird.jpgDemocrat John Laird has hope that President Barack Obama can help him win in the 15th Senate District special election.

His campaign has sent a mailer to Democratic voters districtwide touting Obama's endorsement. The piece will also be sent to decline-to-state voters later this week.

The mailer, which the campaign said has the "White House stamp of approval," features a quote from Obama saying a vote for Laird will "stop Republican inaction in Sacramento."

"Republicans in Congress have tried to block almost every major change I've proposed to fix our economy, create jobs, and reform health care. Republicans in Sacramento are doing the same," Obama says.

The mailer marks the first time Obama has endorsed and campaigned for a candidate in a non-congressional California race, Laird campaign spokesman Steve Maviglio said.

Laird, a former assemblyman, is running against Republican Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee in the Aug. 17 run-off to replace Lt. Gov Abel Maldonado. Blakeslee led Laird by seven percentage points in the special primary on June 22, despite Democrats' six-point registration advantage in the district.

Maviglio said the mailer is designed to boost Democratic absentee ballots to counter the traditional Republican turnout advantage for special elections, where the majority of votes are expected to be cast by mail.

"We need to get every one of those (Democratic ballots) in the mail. This should jump-start Democrats who have the ballots remaining on their desk," he said.

Blakeslee campaign consultant Kevin Spillane called the mailer a sign that the Democratic establishment is on the defensive, "circling the wagons ... trying to motivate disillusioned and unmotivated Democratic voters."

"Voters are angry and they want more change, but the fundamental problems for Democrats in this seat remains John Laird's record for raising taxes and killing jobs. Not even the president can help him there," Spillane said.


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