Former Auburn Mayor Mike Holmes on Friday dropped out of the 4th district Republican primary — a move that could be a boost for ex-Rep. Doug Ose (R).
Ose retired from the 3rd district in 2004. But he is contemplating a comeback in the neighboring 4th district, and his chances of winning the GOP primary could be improved now that Holmes, a fellow moderate, has exited the contest.
Ose has yet to decide whether to enter the June 3 primary. But the two remaining candidates are both far more conservative and have positioned themselves as the ideological heirs to retiring Rep. John Doolittle (R) — minus the ethical baggage.
Those two candidates, Iraq War veteran Eric Egland and former state Sen. Rico Oller, currently are the only candidates officially running in the GOP 4th district primary.
In a statement, Holmes, who challenged Doolittle in the 2006 Republican primary, said he was satisfied that GOP voters would have a sufficient number of choices in the primary and that he no longer felt the need to run.
“I’m not a career politician,” he said.
— David M. Drucker