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State Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian (R) has decided against running next year for the Central Valley-area 11th district seat held by freshman Rep. Jerry McNerney (D), citing his family and three young sons as the primary reason.

Aghazarian, who has twin 5-year-old boys and a third son who turns 1 in April, will instead seek an open state Senate seat. His decision winnows the number of Republicans openly considering challenging McNerney in the GOP-leaning seat to two: state Assemblyman Guy Houston and former state Assemblyman Dean Andal.

However, according to one California Republican operative familiar with the race, McNerney’s perceived vulnerability in the GOP-leaning district is likely to attract more Republican primary candidates. This operative said GOP activist Jill Buck could jump into the race, as could former San Francisco 49ers football star Brent Jones.

Last year, McNerney ousted then-Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R), largely because many GOP voters decided to sit on the sidelines.
— David M. Drucker

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