Keene backs Oller for House race; now GOP frontrunner |

Keene backs Oller for House race; now GOP frontrunner

GRASS VALLEY ” Former California State Senator Rico Oller said this morning he has received the endorsement of California State Assemblyman Rick Keene (R-Chico) in the race for the Republican nomination in the 4th Congressional District.

Oller is running for the seat being left vacant by John Doolittle, who announced he will not seek re-election. With the latest endorsement, Oller is emerging as the frontrunner among Republican candidates.

The winner among Republicans in the June primary is expected to face off against Democrat Charlie Brown in November. The GOP is eager to hang on to the Congressional seat left vacant by Doolittle.

Other Republicans, such as Auburn Mayor Mike Holmes, have dropped out of the 4th District Congressional race. Republican State Senator Sam Aanestad of Grass Valley also has thrown his support to Oller.

Air Force reservist Eric Engand is still in the running.

“Rico adheres to and upholds the conservative values that are important to the voters of Northern California,” said Assemblyman Keene. “He is the only candidate in this race who cares about issues such as lower taxes, limited government, illegal immigration, our 2nd Amendment rights and will protect our rural rights.”

Keene represents the 3rd Assembly District, ,which includes eastern Nevada County and Truckee.

“This endorsement from Assemblyman Keene sends a strong message that Northern California conservatives are mobilizing behind my campaign for Congress,” said Oller. “I’m pleased to have his support of a conservative leader who is well known and well respected in his district.”

Doolittle, who will leave office at yearend, is under investigation for ties to a disgraced lobbyist. He denies any wrongdoing.

By dropping out of the race now, the GOP can recoup its strength with a fresh candidate, according to political experts.

Doolittle narrowly beat Brown in the last election and was defeated by Brown in Nevada County.

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