This is a sampling from Bay Area News Group's Political Blotter blog. Read more and post comments at www.ibabuzz.com/politics.

March 3

Rep. Eric Swalwell announced Monday that he has President Barack Obama's endorsement for re-election in the 15th Congressional District.

"Congressman Eric Swalwell has proved to be a tireless champion for families throughout California's 15th District, bringing new energy and ideas to Congress," Obama said in a statement released by Swalwell's campaign. "Eric is a strong voice for creating good jobs, expanding economic opportunity and growing the middle class."

"Since day one, Eric has shown unwavering dedication to the needs of his constituents -- helping veterans secure the benefits they've earned, protecting seniors and ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work," the president added. "I enthusiastically support Eric Swalwell's re-election to Congress so the East Bay can continue to move forward."

Swalwell, D-Pleasanton, said he's honored by the endorsement and has worked with the president to protect the middle class and help workers find jobs.

"I look forward to working with President Obama to address the many challenges faced by my constituents, including ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work, taking care of our veterans, and growing our middle class," the first term congressman said.

Swalwell's challengers are state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, and Alameda County Republican Party vice chairman Hugh Bussell of Livermore.

"The president tends to endorse incumbents, the president endorsed the incumbent that Congressman Swalwell ran against last time and the incumbent didn't win," Corbett said Monday afternoon, referring to former Rep. Pete Stark. "People have an opportunity to take a look at the candidates and choose who they feel is most qualified for the job based on their qualifications and experience."

Swalwell already has announced endorsements from national Democratic figures such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., as well as from various other members of Congress and all the mayors in his district.

But Corbett has been endorsed by her fellow state Senate Democrats and drew enough votes at a local caucus last month to deny Swalwell a Democratic Party "pre-endorsement." Both candidates will make their cases at the California Democratic Party convention in Los Angeles.

March 3

State Sen. Noreen Evans was overcome with emotion Monday as she introduced a resolution to declare this week Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week.

The debilitating neurological disease has hit close to home for Evans, D-Santa Rosa, who said four close family members have struggled with it. Her floor speech started out shaky, grew steadier for a time and then ended in tears as she spoke of how the disease often strikes people in the prime of their lives.

State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and state Sen. Holly Mitchell moved to comfort her as she finished. The Senate passed her resolution, 31-0.

Evans -- a mother of three who announced in August that she'll return to her law practice rather than seek a second Senate term this year -- wouldn't discuss her family's specific situation later Monday afternoon except to say "it is something that has affected my family very deeply." She did say one relative who had struggled with the disease passed away last year.

"I always like to try to find a way to turn a negative into a positive and if I can turn this into a way of helping other people understand ... then that's something I'd like to do," she said.

She added public attention can help lead to more resources and support for research toward treatment, from reversing the disease's effects to an overall cure.

"There are a lot of people in our communities who struggle with this disease and nobody ever knows about it," said Evans.