Low releases TV ad for US House candidacy

  • by Matthew S. Bajko, Assistant Editor
  • Monday January 29, 2024
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Evan Low appears in the first ad for his 16th Congressional District campaign. Image: Via the ad<br>
Evan Low appears in the first ad for his 16th Congressional District campaign. Image: Via the ad

Bay Area viewers tuning into the pregame show on Fox ahead of the San Francisco 49ers clinching a Super Bowl berth Sunday caught the debut of an ad touting the congressional candidacy of gay Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Cupertino). It featured the South Bay legislator in the kitchen with his father and stepmother.

"Growing up, my parents wanted me to become a doctor or an engineer," Low says to the camera as he moves behind a kitchen island. Off to his right is his father, who turns around to say, "Those are good careers."

But Low notes he "chose a different path" by entering politics, first by winning election as a city councilmember in Campbell, where he served as mayor, then to the state Legislature. Low then touts several of his legislative achievements in Sacramento.

"I enshrined abortion rights in our constitution. In the face of Trump, I strengthened hate crime laws and lowered the cost of the middle class," says Low. "Now I am running to bring the fight to Congress."

To which his dad replies, "You were always stubborn."

The 30-second spot titled "My Parents" will be airing across local TV stations and cable channels starting Tuesday through at least next Monday, February 5. Low's campaign is spending $315,000 on the ad buy.

"When creating this ad, I wanted to ensure that voters know about my record of protecting abortion rights, taking on Trump's hate, and lowering costs for the middle class," Low, who was unavailable for an interview Monday, told the Bay Area Reporter in a statement sent by his campaign. "I pursued public service to give back to the community that made me who I am, and this ad highlights my experience delivering results for our community as mayor and assemblymember."

Low is vying to become the Bay Area's first LGBTQ leader and first Chinese American elected to Congress. He aims to succeed Congressmember Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), who announced in November her retirement later this year from the South Bay House seat she has held since 1993.

The race for the 16th Congressional District that spans both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties has drawn 11 candidates, including Palo Alto City Councilmember Julie Lythcott-Haims, who would be the first bisexual woman of color from California to serve in the House. She posted her first 30-second spot to her account on X last week.

"Running for Congress against 10 men, I was told I should credential myself," says Lythcott-Haims while using air quotes for "credential myself." She goes on to point out her being a former dean at Stanford University, a local elected official, and "a mom of two who wants a better world for my kids. All our kids."

Eshoo earlier this month endorsed Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian in the race. Other Democrats running include former San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo, Palo Alto City Councilmember Greg Lin Tanaka, and tech executives Peter Dixon and Rishi Kumar, who lost to Eshoo in 2022.

Dixon also recently began airing his own TV commercial to introduce himself to voters. It highlights his military background, showing the Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan in a helicopter. The 32-second spot titled "Who We Are" ends with Dixon seated at his dining room table with his wife and two young daughters, wiping off food from his face apparently thrown by the youngest.

The top two vote-getters in the March 5 contest will advance to the November general election. While the B.A.R. endorsed Low last week, the San Francisco Chronicle backed Liccardo on Monday.

Asked about the mainstream paper's decision, Low campaign manager Clay Volino told the B.A.R. that "the Chronicle correctly noted that Eshoo's successor needs to be able to get things done in a gridlocked Congress, and Evan Low's track record shows he's most prepared to do just that. With more Congressional endorsements than any other candidate, his relationships prepare him to hit the ground running in Washington."

Among Low's seven congressional endorsers listed on his campaign website are all three out members of California's delegation: lesbian Senator Laphonza Butler and gay Congressmembers Mark Takano and Robert Garcia. Former South Bay congressmember Mike Honda also endorsed Low.

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