Republican Holmes drops from race to replace Doolittle |

Republican Holmes drops from race to replace Doolittle

Auburn City Council member Mike Holmes has announced that he will not run in the June 2008 Republican Primary for the Fourth Congressional District seat.

“I ran in the June 2006 primary to give Republicans a choice … now, it appears a number of candidates have already announced their intent to run. Moreover, others may announce their candidacy soon, giving Republicans a wide range of Republican choices in June,” said Holmes in a release. “I am not a career politician and intend to focus on issues closer to home.”

Holmes is a retired Navy captain, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, and lifelong Republican. He leaves the race to replace Rep. John Doolittle, who announced he will retire from congress after his current term.

The fifth generation resident of Northern California said he has no immediate plans to endorse a candidate.

“I am confident that the 4th Congressional District will have fresh, new representation come November and that our communities will be better off because of it,” said Holmes.

State Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, also recently put an end to speculation that he will seek the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District.

Aanestad stood behind Rep. John Doolittle last week as the nine-term congressman announced his retirement. Shortly after Doolittle’s press conference, Aanestad’s name surfaced as one of a half-dozen Republican candidates for the 4th District, an area that comprises most of the counties Aanestad has represented as an assemblyman and senator.

The decision not to run, Aanestad said, “did not come lightly or easily…” But after taking the weekend to consider his options with his family, Aanestad said in a statement that, “I’ve made what I consider to be the best decision.”

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent a great area ” an area I call home ” and it was exciting to consider a run for national office where I had considerable support,” said Aanestad, who has three years left in office.

On Monday Assemblyman Ted Gaines announced that he would not make a challenge for Doolittle’s seat.

Gaines had formed an exploratory committee but on Monday said he would not run. The assemblyman, who has six children at home, cited family reasons and said he would remain in the state Legislature.

He also says there already is a strong GOP field shaping up, although he’s not sure whether he will endorse.

Doolittle, who is under scrutiny in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, announced last week that he would not seek a 10th term.

That leaves former state senator Rico Oller and Air Force reservist Eric Egland officially in the race.

Former GOP Rep. Doug Ose has said he was considering whether to run.

The Republican victor is likely to face Democrat Charlie Brown, who as a little-known first-time candidate in 2006 narrowly lost to Doolittle, 46 percent to 49 percent.

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