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Doolittle Gets His First GOP Challenger

Auburn City Councilman Mike Holmes announced this week he is running for Congress in the 4th district — presenting Rep. John Doolittle with his first Republican primary challenger.

Holmes ran against Doolittle in the 2006 GOP primary and was crushed by the incumbent by a 2-1 margin.

However, Doolittle’s political position has weakened severely since he narrowly won re-election in the fall, and Holmes probably is not the only Republican who will end up challenging the Congressman if he runs again in 2008.

Doolittle, whose Virginia home was raided by the FBI in April as part of a Justice Department investigation, raised just $100,183 in the second quarter, to close the period with only $74,383 in cash on hand.

“Without an ethically sound Republican running in 2008, John Doolittle’s flagrant behavior places the 4th Congressional District within Democrats’ reach,” Holmes said in a prepared statement, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Republicans known to be considering a run against Doolittle include Air Force Reservist Eric Egland, state Assemblyman Ted Gaines, former state Sen. Rico Oller and radio talk-show host Tom Sullivan. The 4th district is solid Republican territory, and political observers say the only way the GOP can lose the district is if Doolittle is the party’s nominee.

Charlie Brown (D), who lost to Doolittle last year by just three points, already has announced his 2008 candidacy.

— David M. Drucker

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