Rep. John Doolittle (R) could now face two primary challengers next year if he chooses to run for re-election, as former Doolitte supporter Eric Egland has become the second Republican to enter the GOP primary race in the 4th district.
Egland, a military veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who cut a television ad for Doolittle in the previous cycle in the closing stretch of the Congressman’s close race for re-election, announced this week that he wants the job for himself.
“I will provide ethical leadership based on deeply-held conservative values, a strong interest in local issues, and first-hand experience in our most critical national security issues,” Egland said in a statement, alluding to the fact that Doolittle remains under investigation by the Justice Department for his connection to jailed GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Egland joins Auburn City Councilman Mike Holmes in the Republican primary field. Holmes, a moderate Republican, lost to Doolittle in the 2006 primary.
In the previous cycle, Doolittle beat police administrator Charlie Brown (D) by just three points while garnering a weak 49 percent of the vote — this despite the fact that the suburban Sacramento 4th district is solid GOP territory.
Other Republicans considering a challenge to Doolittle include state Assemblyman Ted Gaines and conservative radio talk-show host Tom Sullivan.
— David M. Drucker