Tom Lantos May Face Challenger
Tom Lantos, a Democrat who has represented San Mateo in the U.S. House of Representatives for 13 terms, plans to run for reelection in 2008. Budapest-born Lantos, who came to the United States as a young man, may face a primary challenge from popular former state Sen. Jackie Speier. Reports indicate that Speier, who has yet to announce her candidacy, has in-house polls showing her leading Congressman Lantos in the 12th District two to one. Beating a politician of Lantos' stature would catapult Speier to immediate national standing.
As I noted below, Lantos has worked hard to get the US into both Iraq wars, and is an uber-supporter of Israel. He has visited Israel 68 times!
Jackie Speier is of Armenian decent and has a Jewish grandfather who fled Nazi Germany, so it is unlikely that she will put real pressure on Israel to negotiate peace, but she will no doubt be an improvement over Lantos. Given those poll numbers, I would think Lantos would just retire if she does in fact put her hat into the ring.
It will also be interesting to see what reason Ms Speier gives for initiating a primary challenge to this incumbant. Will she focus on Lantos' support for the war, making it a referendum thereon?