Although he started off as a very liberal Republican, Panetta never served in office as a Republican. He worked for the ultraliberal RINO CA U.S. Senator Tom Kuchel (who was defeated in the 1968 GOP primary), then in Nixon’s HEW Department before working for the execrable RINO-turned-Democrat NYC Mayor Lindsay. Panetta then ran for office as a Democrat, defeating GOP Congressman Burt Talcott in 1976.
Wow.. that dredged up an old memory... wasn't it Max Rafferty who took him out in the primary?