Ose inches closer to Doolittle seat race | SierraSun.com

Ose inches closer to Doolittle seat race

Former U.S. Congressman Doug Ose said he didn’t want to dance on John Doolittle’s political grave last week by prematurely announcing he would run to replace the retiring representative.

But now, Ose’s tiptoes can be heard around the coffin, with the recent launching of the Draft Doug Ose! Web site and encouraging words from a political ally.

Meanwhile, conservative and liberal political blog writers also are reporting his strong intentions.

“At this point, Doug’s been in a lot of discussions with people around the region to get a sense of how it might go,” said Brett Storey, the mayor of Rocklin and a fellow GOP member.

Storey said he was authorized to speak for Ose and the Web site, http://www.draftdoug.com. Ose did not return two telephone calls from The Union, but said last week he was giving the race “serious consideration.”

“I’m hoping he does run, and then you’ll see the campaign committee come out,” Storey said Wednesday.

Ose is a moderate Republican who does not always side with the right wing of the party, Storey said.

“It’s not about block voting for him,” Story said. “He votes on what is good for his district. He reaches out to compromise.”

Ose lives in Sacramento and would most likely find former Republican state legislator Rico Oller as his strongest opponent in the June primary to capture the GOP nomination for the 4th District congressional seat.

Ose was the U.S. congressman for the 3rd District from 1999 to 2005 and stepped down to fulfill a promise to serve only three terms. Ose’s sister, Mary Ose, ran to replace him in 2004 against Oller in a campaign deemed nasty by many.

Dan Lungren stepped into the breach, won the nomination, and is now the 3rd District congressman.

Ose’s strong intentions to run in the 4th District also have been reported in the last week on two political Web sites. In a piece on Human Events.com, the Web site for the national conservative newspaper, writer John Gizzi said Ose is expected to be Oller’s main competition for the GOP nomination.

That was echoed in a story for the liberal Web site, The California Majority Report, by Steven Maviglio. Maviglio was the first to report last week that Doolittle would not run for another term for Congress.

Doolittle announced his retirement Jan. 10 at a Roseville press conference. The nine-term congressman has been under investigation the past few years because of ties to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff. FBI agents raided the Washington, D.C., office of Julie Doolittle, his fundraiser wife, but no charges have been filed against the couple.

Still, the investigation and his narrow defeat of Democratic challenger Charlie Brown in the 2006 election left Doolittle politically vulnerable. Doolittle denied at last week’s press conference the national GOP hierarchy or President George W. Bush had asked him to step down to avoid losing a GOP-strong district.

With Oller and California Sen. Sam Aanestad (R-Grass Valley) at his side, Doolittle also declined to endorse any GOP candidates to replace him.

Minutes later, Aanestad said he would consider running. But by Tuesday, he announced he would not, preferring to concentrate on the three years left in his state Senate term.

The senator followed GOP Assemblyman Ted Gaines of Granite Bay, who announced Monday he would not run for the position. Gaines had formed an exploratory committee similar to Ose’s, but in the end said family issues had stopped him from moving up the political ladder.

Still in the running on the GOP side, but lesser known, are Air Force Reservist Eric Egland and Cedar Ridge businessman and musician Ted Terbolizard.

No opposition has surfaced against Brown for the Democratic nomination for the 4rd District seat. Roseville’s Brown narrowly lost to Doolittle in 2006, and carried Nevada County.

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