Rep. Pete Stark claimed in a last week that his opponent Eric Swalwell had taken bribes while on the Dublin City Council.
On Wednesday, after being , Stark apologized, the Bay Area News Group reported.
At the debate, Stark said Swalwell took "hundreds of thousands of dollars" from a prominent real-estate family in exchange for votes on zoning issues.
"I misspoke the other evening when I made allegations against my opponent for taking bribes, and for that I apologize," Stark said in a statement issued by his campaign strategist, Alex Tourk.
But the 80-year-old political veteran didn't leave it there. He continued, saying, "Eric Swalwell has been a consistent vote on the Dublin City Council and on the Planning Commission supporting projects by developers who have been raided by the FBI, have pleaded guilty to destroying natural habitats, and has taken numerous contributions to fund his campaign which he consistently utilizes with negative attacks."
BANG reported Swalwell's response and the 31-year-old wasn't terribly impressed by the apology.
"He flat-out lied to the voters about my voting record and accusing me of a crime," Swalwell said. "And it took a week and mounting public and Democratic Party pressure for him to offer a backhanded, insincere public apology with new bizarre allegations with no evidence."
The Dublin city councilman continued:
"His statement does nothing more than trade mudslinging for smear tactics," Swalwell added. "Congressman Stark has lost all credibility, and voters should consider the source: A member of Congress who has issued more public apologies than Lindsay Lohan."
The primary election, which includes conservative Chris Pareja, ends with voters going to the polls June 5. The top two in the three-man race will compete for the open seat in the newly formed 15th Congressional District.
The new district includes San Ramon, Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore, Castro Valley, San Leandro and Union City.