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California: Speier Getting Closer to Challenging Rep. Lantos

Former state Sen. Jackie Speier (D) has hired Alex Tourk to manage her likely primary challenge of Rep. Tom Lantos (D) in the San Francisco-area 12th district.

Tourk previously managed San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s mayoral campaign.

Also likely to be a part of any Speier Congressional campaign are Democratic pollster Jim Moore and Democratic consultant Bill Cavala, whose specialties include general and direct-mail consulting. Cavala and Moore are both based in Sacramento.

Meanwhile, Lantos appeared to respond to the budding threat from Speier — who outperformed him significantly in a recent poll conducted for her campaign — by sending out a full color, multipage piece of franked mail to his constituents.

The mail piece touted his Congressional agenda, including his moves opposing President Bush’s Iraq War policy. Lantos voted to give Bush the authority to use force in Iraq but has since become an opponent of the president’s policy.

Speier is expected to reveal her 2008 plans in early January.

— David M. Drucker

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