It's not often that a Democratic party leader roots for a Republican.
But on Tuesday night Eric Bauman, chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, said he was pulling for state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) in the California governor's race.
Early returns showed Gov. Jerry Brown easily placing first in Tuesday's primary. Bauman said he was cheering for Donnelly, a colorful, tea party-style candidate who has repeatedly staged events at gun ranges, because he would a fun opponent.
"He would be much more entertaining for the people of California," Bauman joked. "He would keep us amused all the way through election day. We have our fingers crossed that he will be there."
But Bauman said he also would welcome the chance to campaign against Republican Neel Kashkari, a political newcomer who managed the federal government's $700-billion bailout of Wall Street, and who was running neck and neck with Donnelly for second place in early returns. Candidates who finish first and second will compete in a November runoff.
"We're happy to run against a guy who led the TARP program," Bauman said of Kashkari. "Gov. Brown represents the people of California. There's a reason why he's got a 60% approval rating, and there's a reason why he's going to be the next governor."