Brown will be back in race to replace Doolittle |

Brown will be back in race to replace Doolittle

Sierra Sun file photoRetired Air Force officer Charlie Brown kicked off his congressional campaign on Friday.

Vowing to be a non-partisan voice for change in Washington, Roseville Democrat Charlie Brown announced what most already knew on Friday ” he’s running to replace Rep. John Doolittle (R-Roseville) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Brown, after touring four communities in California’s fourth district to kick off his campaign, said his push for the congressional seat will mirror the last congressional election, when he lost to Doolittle by a slim 9,000 votes.

“Same strategy,” said Brown, in a telephone interview with the Sierra Sun after completing his stops within the district. “Tell people the truth. Tell people I’m in this for non-partisan reasons.”

Brown enters a race that is already becoming crowded. Doolittle, once a shoo-in for his party’s nomination each election cycle, now has two confirmed GOP challengers ” Eric Egland and Mike Holmes. And California Republican Assemblyman Ted Gaines has formed a committee to explore joining the GOP runoff.

But Brown talked little of his potential Republican challengers.

“From everything I’ve seen their whole reason for running is ‘I’m a Republican and this should be a Republican seat,'” said Brown of the new faces in the race.

“I don’t think it matters which Republican I face,” he added.

The retired Air Force lieutenant colonel from Roseville also outlined his political views on, including the War in Iraq, immigration reform, balancing the federal budget, reproductive choice and energy.

“As a retired Air Force officer who once coordinated intelligence flights over Iraq, I stated this war was a strategic mistake from the very start,” Brown said. “We’ve toppled a dictator, but the vacuum has unleashed centuries-old sectarian rivalries.”

Keeping America safe “means fighting the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. It does not mean getting involved in a civil war in another country.”

The former Vietnam War helicopter pilot said he also sees too many parallels between that war and the current one when it comes to government contracts. Brown said he had two friends die during Vietnam, allegedly because of defective helicopter parts sold to the military.

“They got rich and my friends died, and it’s still happening today,” Brown said. “Congress needs to stand up and do something about it.”

The candidate said he was told by many people to not talk about immigration reform because it was too controversial, but he decided to anyway.

“Reform starts with secure borders,” Brown said. “Next, we must deal with the companies that hire illegal immigrants and give local police the resources they need to deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes.”

Balancing the national budget is paramount, Brown said.

“We’re mortgaging our country’s future and out children’s future.”

Keeping government out of personal business and reproductive choice are also important, Brown said.

“I most certainly don’t want the government telling my wife and daughter what to do with their bodies,” he said.

The candidate also said he wants the United States to become energy independent.

“As we saw on 9/11 and again after Hurricane Katrina, instability in the world oil market is a very real threat to America’s economy, as well as our security,” said Brown.

Brown said he looks forward to getting out into the district and meeting voters in the next 15 months before the election.

“It’s the most enjoyable part of the campaign ” to talk to people in small groups,” he said.

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