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CALIFORNIA: With Eye on Recall, Issa Enters Statehouse Race

Rep. Darrell Issa (R) last week created a campaign committee to run for governor. It is officially geared toward the 2006 election, but it enables him to begin raising money immediately — and would allow him to jump into a recall election next year if a recall of Gov. Gray Davis (D) makes it to the statewide ballot.

“I am taking this initial step because like most Californians, I am shocked and saddened at how our current political leaders have crippled our great state,” Issa said in a statement.

Issa has already created an organization to help boost the recall effort and has pledged at least $100,000 of his own fortune to help the recall succeed.

Organizers must present the valid signatures of more than 897,000 registered voters to the California secretary of state’s office by early September to get the measure on the ballot next year. Earlier this month, organizers said they had already collected 100,000 signatures, but as of Friday they had not presented them to election offices in any of the state’s 30 largest counties.

Issa, who owned a prosperous car alarm business, spent $10 million of his own money on an unsuccessful Senate bid in 1998. He spent an additional $1.5 million to win his San Diego-area seat in 2000.

— Josh Kurtz


Anti-Moran Forces May Splinter With Additions

The field of challengers seeking to knock off Rep. Jim Moran (D) next year grew by two last week, as a pair of Democrats — one high-profile elected official and a lesser-known commodity — entered the primary.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Kate Hanley (D) announced Thursday that she will challenge Moran next year. Hanley said in March that she would not seek re-election, fueling speculation that she would run against Moran.

Also last week, attorney Andy Rosenberg filed papers to run as a Democrat in the 8th. Rosenberg, a former aide to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), is an associate with Patton Boggs.

“This is not going to be a politics-as-usual campaign,” Rosenberg said Friday.

Moran’s re-election prospects were damaged earlier this year after he sparked controversy by suggesting that Jews were pushing U.S. policy toward war Iraq.

Other Democrats considering running against Moran are state Sen. Leslie Byrne, a former Congresswoman, and attorney Jeremy Bash.

The 8th district heavily favors Democrats, although several Republicans have indicated they are also interested in running next year.

— Lauren W. Whittington


Two Legislators Jump Into 8th District Battle

With Rep. Mac Collins (R) officially tossing his hat in the Senate race last week, two would-be successors quickly followed suit by announcing they would run for Collins’ 8th district seat.

State House Minority Leader Lynn Westmoreland and state Sen. Mike Crotts, both Republicans, said they will seek the open House seat next year.

Dylan Glenn, who has run for Congress twice and is currently deputy chief of staff to Gov. Sonny Perdue (R), is also mentioned as a potential candidate.

The 8th district, which stretches south of Atlanta and dips toward Columbus, is staunchly Republican, and whoever emerges from the primary is almost assured a seat in Congress.

Westmoreland had been considering a run for Senate before Collins’ announcement Thursday that he will run for the seat of retiring Sen. Zell Miller (D). Rep. Johnny Isakson (R) is the only other candidate currently in the Senate race.

Crotts, meanwhile, represents Collins’ old state Senate district and is a commercial Realtor and developer.

— L.W.W.

Clay Becomes Fifth GOP Candidate in 6th District

Meanwhile, in the open 6th district, state Rep. Chuck Clay became the fifth Republican to enter the race to succeed Isakson. Clay ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 1998 and is a former chairman of the state Republican Party.

Clay will face state Sens. Tom Price and Robert Lamutt, state Rep. Roger Hines and John McCallum in the primary. McCallum is a onetime aide to former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), who represented the 6th before Isakson.

Former Rep. Bob Barr (R) was also running for the nomination, but he dropped his bid last month. Like the 8th, the 6th district heavily favors Republicans and the only major competition will be in the primary.

— L.W.W.

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