Honda is a seven-term incumbent who represents the Silicon Valley but is facing a well-funded challenge from fellow Democrat Ro Khanna, a former member of President
In an email to supporters, Dean wrote that he and his organization, Democracy for America, were endorsing Honda because of Honda's track record on issues such as gay rights, abortion and Social Security.
“I rarely endorse candidates in primaries, but Mike Honda is a progressive leader and we need him in
Dean did not mention Khanna by name, but he slapped at the 37-year-old, who is backed by tech industry titans such as Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, Yahoo's
"Now Mike is facing a corporate-backed challenger whose big money donors are intent on buying Mike's seat in Congress," Dean wrote, before asking for a $5 donation for his group's efforts to get Democrats elected to Congress.
During the 2012 election cycle, the group spent more than $1.5 million on races.
[Updated 10:50 a.m. PST Dec. 3: A spokesman for Khanna noted that the candidate has pledged not to accept contributions from corporations.
"Unfortunately, this is just another example of the divisive rhetoric that has left hardworking families disillusioned by Congress and yearning for real solutions," said Tyler Law. "The congressman should take this opportunity to break the status quo and embrace Ro's bold reform agenda, which includes rejecting PAC and lobbyist money, pay raises, special-interest-funded travel and the gold-plated congressional pension."]
Honda, 72, has broad support from Democratic elected officials, including Obama, House Minority Leader
Deep-pocketed donors have lined up behind Khanna. The most recent financial disclosures show that Khanna had $1.9 million in the bank as of Sept. 30; Honda had a little more than $550,000.