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California: Davis Enters Race Against Lungren

Elk Grove City Councilman Gary Davis (D) announced Wednesday that he wants to take on Rep. Dan Lungren (R) in 2010.

Davis, who has also served as the city’s mayor, told the Sacramento Bee that he decided to run because Lungren voted against a program designed to put more police officers on the street earlier this year and because the Congressman didn’t forward the city’s funding request to the House Appropriations Committee last year.

“It’s time for a Member of Congress who works hard and brings fresh ideas to the table to help address the urgent challenges we face,— Davis said in a statement.

Lungren, who was elected in the Sacramento-area 3rd district in 2004 and also served in the House in a Long Beach district from 1978 to 1988, has only recently been in national Democrats’ sights. Last year, a little-known Democrat held the Congressman below 50 percent of the vote, and President Barack Obama won a narrow victory there as well.

Some Democrats are hoping a big-name candidate gets in the race, but the likelihood is that their nominee will be a local officeholder like Davis. Other potential candidates include Rancho Cordova City Councilman Ken Cooley and Calaveras County Supervisor Steve Wilensky, who passed on the race in the previous cycle. Physician Amerish Bera (D) is already running.

A spokesman for Lungren, Brian Kaveney, was dismissive of Davis’ criticism of his boss, telling the Bee that voters recognize “his contributions to the 3rd Congressional district.—

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