Republican candidate David Harmer has challenged Democratic Congressman Jerry McNerney of Pleasanton to a series of "town hall" meetings in the 11th Congressional District.
Harmer, an attorney and businessman who lives in San Ramon, ran unsuccessfully last year as the Republican nominee for the House of Representatives in the 10th congressional district special election, which Democrat John Garamendi won.
A graduate of Brigham Young University's law school, Harmer worked as counsel to a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
McNerney is seeking re-election to a third term as the 11th District's congressman.
In a letter delivered to McNerney's campaign headquarters Friday, Harmer proposed that the two candidates participate in meetings in Pleasanton, Danville, Lodi, Manteca, Tracy and Morgan Hill. The proposed timeline includes three town halls in September, and three in October.
"This is not a debate," Harmer said. "The point here is to foster discussion about our respective plans for the district."
"Jerry McNerney has been adamant in his support for Nancy Pelosi and Barak Obama's big-government agenda," he added. "On the other hand, I believe in Ronald Reagan's vision for a smaller, more efficient government that fosters a healthy free-market economy. These forums will give voters the opportunity to hear and understand the differences between McNerney's record and Reagan's vision, and I strongly urge Jerry McNerney to join me in this venture."
Harmer's campaign manager Cameron Wilkinson said McNerney has been criticized since his government healthcare vote of avoiding town hall meetings.
"This gives McNerney an opportunity to get back outside of the Beltway and join David Harmer for informative discussions with the voters," Wilkinson said. "The point is not to debate, but instead to connect with the constituents and let them know that their elected officials are interested in being transparent about their policies."
Wilkinson said the Harmer team is awaiting McNerney's response.