Candidates for the nseat are pulling out all stops in the final push before Tuesday's primary elections.
The top two vote-getters on June 5 out of the field of 12 candidates will go on to challenge each other in the Nov. 4 general elections.
New glossy mailers, fundraising pitches by phone and email and even folk-singing surrogates are being enlisted to help in campaign's final days.
The new 2nd District seat covers most of the span of the North Coast from Marin County to the Oregon border. It replaces the former 6th District seat held for 20 years by and parts of the former 1st District seat held by who is now overseeing a newly formed 5th Congressional District.
If Huffman is the frontrunner, as many observers say, then it's down to a race for second place. That second place contest -- in Sonoma County at least -- has gone "bloodthirsty," according to a local columnist.
Ray Holley, writing in this week's said he was surprised at the hostility of combat for the second slot -- particularly the attacks lodged by Inverness Park anti-war activist Norman Solomon against San Rafael entrepreneur Stacey Lawson.
, her corporate ties and other issues.
"How the sausage is made matters to me, and I won't support a candidate who goes dirty," Holley wrote in his Tribune column, adding that he thought the race for second place had turned "bloodthirsty."
Lawson, who has focused her campaign on jobs creation and support for small business, responded on Facebook by saying that in some way the attacks indicated that she was seen as a formidable challenger. She also has acknowledged that the failure to vote in some past elections was something she regretted, but said that she had hoped the campaign would focus on issues and not personal attacks.
Whether by design or in response to backlash from the "attack" mailers, this week Solomon sent out two more glossy mailers, both avoiding any mention of Lawson and both highly promoting Solomon.
Solomon's campaign has declined to apologize for the attack mailers, saying that it stood by the statements against Lawson and her corporate ties, and that she needed to respond to those assertions publicly.
Several Patch sites in the district recently ran . More than 4,800 votes later, it stacked up with Norman Solomon in first place (with 35 percent), Petaluma councilwoman Tiffany Renee in second (29 percent), and Assemblyman Jared Hoffman in third (25 [percent. Stacey Lawson, who had jumped out to an early lead in the poll, ended up a distant fourth with 6 percent.
But as it says on the poll page itself, the Patch polling tool is "non-scientific" -- we have no way of preventing people from voting more than once. So, at best, it's a gauge of enthusiasm, if nothing else.
With his celebrity endorsements from the likes of Jackson Browne, who performed at a private fund-raiser this week Solomon's enthusiasm level is understandably high.
Yet Lawson ended up the last quarter as the top fundraiser, according to statistics from the Federal Elections Commission, outdrawing even favorite Huffman, according to this Patch article.
Lawson's supporters said Huffman has been touted as the top fundraiser overall because he started earlier. In the last two days, Lawson's campaign has sent out several emails soliciting money from supporters -- and has set up a phone bank to follow up on the emails.
All the candidates have multiple endorsements listed already on their websites, but this week, Solomon added moveon.org, Huffman added a statewide realtors group, the California Federation of Teachers and California Small Business Association. Lawson has also added endorsements in recent weeks.