Ted spreads the love

GOP Assembly candidate Ted Gaines is really bad at endorsements

As a fiscal conservative, Assemblyman Ted Gaines has prided himself on the core Republican principle of restraint. But in two recent political races, the state legislator has shown little of it, endorsing multiple candidates for the same office.

The latest example of Gaines’ endorsement double dipping comes in the race for El Dorado County sheriff, where the Roseville politician has announced his support for the two—and only—candidates for office.

To be fair, Amador County district attorney investigator John D’Agostini and El Dorado County sheriff’s Capt. Craig Therkildsen have staked out similar positions on concealed-weapons permits (come and get them), resident deputies (in favor) and the department’s fiscal climate (not good), but an increasingly heated campaign has the two candidates for the rural county’s top cop post claiming little common ground.

So why would Gaines, whose 4th Assembly District represents all or parts of Alpine, Placer, El Dorado and Sacramento counties, choose to back D’Agostini and Therkildsen after the June primaries left them the only candidates remaining?

“That’s probably more of a question to ask Ted Gaines himself,” suggested Greg Jones, a campaign consultant for Therkildsen and a veteran of local races.

A phone call and e-mail got us as close as Gaines’ chief of staff, Steve Davey, who said his boss was busy thinking about his own election bid to replace the late Dave Cox.

“He’s focused on his own race right now for state Senate,” Davey said. “He wishes both of the candidates in El Dorado County the best of luck.”


While neither Jones nor D’Agostini would speculate about Gaines’ motives, Jones said the assemblyman wasn’t setting any precedents.

“It does not happen frequently, but it is not unheard of for a politician or notable figure to co-endorse in certain races,” he said.

Apparently, it’s not unheard of for Gaines, either.

In the Republican primary this past summer, Gaines originally endorsed his Assembly buddy Chuck DeVore, who was attempting a transition from the U.S. Senate after three terms in office. But then Gaines met DeVore’s competition, ex-Hewlett-Packard downsizer Carly Fiorina and “did a dual endorsement,” according to Davey.

Evidently, Gaines wasn’t so smitten with moderate Tom Campbell, who didn’t get a co-co-endorsement. Perhaps coincidentally, Campbell was the only candidate in the race who didn’t favor giving guns to those on the no-fly watch list.