McClintock has sights on Doolittle seat | SierraSun.com

McClintock has sights on Doolittle seat

Trina Kleist
Sun news service

Eric Egland, the lone Republican running for John Doolittle’s congressional seat who lives in the district full time, said Wednesday he would bow out if powerful state Sen. Tom McClintock from Southern California enters the race.

Egland’s remarks are the latest twist in the crowded 4th District race, which also includes longtime politicians Thomas “Rico” Oller and Doug Ose as front-runners for the Republicans and former Air Force officer Charlie Brown running – who came close to beating Doolittle two years ago – for the Democrats. The primary will be held in June and the general election in November.

“I enthusiastically encourage Sen. McClintock to enter the race. He is a true conservative whom we can trust to represent us in Congress,” said a staff member for Egland’s campaign. “With Sen. McClintock, I see no need to continue my campaign. … Should he enter the race, I will immediately withdraw and begin helping him raise the funds necessary to bring his message to the voters of the 4th Congressional District.”

McClintock, a well-known state politician, is strongly considering a run for the seat being left vacant by Doolittle, and an announcement likely would come by the end of the week, an aide said Tuesday.

Republicans are eager to retain the 4th District seat that is being vacated by Doolittle in a Democratic-controlled Congress.

Congressional candidates must live in the state they are representing, but state law does not require them to live in the district. Most Congress members live in their districts, however.

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Ose and Oller, of the Sacramento area, both have said they would look for a place to live in the district. Theodore Terbolizard, a conservative Republican, lives in Cedar Ridge most of the week, but is registered to vote in Alameda County.

Doolittle is under federal investigation for his ties to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Doolittle spent 17 years in Congress.

Aaron Park, a blogger on the conservative Republican Web site RedCounty.com, said in a recent posting that McClintock has been preparing for a run, including paying for recent polling in the district.

“McClintock’s crew have called media to arrange buys, called slate mailers and have called donors,” Park wrote.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Democrat Brown called the Republican jostling “the same old recycled politics.”

“The contrast in this race has always been about patriotism on the one hand and partisanship on the other,” Brown spokesman Todd Stenhouse said. “We put country loyalty ahead of party loyalty. What’s best for the country? What’s best for the district?”

McClintock represents California’s 19th District in the state Senate, an area including the northwest corner of Los Angeles County (including the cities of Stevenson Ranch and Santa Clarita) and part of Ventura County (including Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Camarillo, Ventura and Ojai) and Santa Barbara County (including Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Carpinteria, Buellton, Solvang, and Vandenberg Air Force Base).

He has served in the state legislature for 19 years, starting in the Assembly in 1982.

Brown is considered a formidable challenger, and he won the race among Nevada County voters in the 2005 election.