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California: McNerney Could Face Former U.S. Marshal

Tony Amador (R), the former U.S. marshal for Northern California, is putting out the word this week that he hopes to challenge Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) in 2010.

The 65-year-old veteran law enforcement officer plans to announce his candidacy next week in Lodi, according to the Sacramento Bee.

“In my yearbook I wrote that I wanted to be a U.S. Congressman,— Amador told the newspaper.

Amador, who was appointed marshal by former President George W. Bush, stepped down earlier this summer. He has a compelling personal story to tell: as one of 14 children of undocumented Mexican immigrants who grew up in rural Utah. He put himself through college, then became a police officer in Los Angeles.

After ousting then-Rep. Richard Pombo (R) in 2006, McNerney solidified his position by beating a well-regarded former state Assemblyman by almost 11 points last year. The 11th district, which covers parts of the Central Valley and the East Bay, was considered prime Republican territory for years but seems to be trending Democratic. President Barack Obama took 54 percent of the vote there in 2008.

McNerney finished June with $519,000 in his campaign account.

Three candidates are already seeking the Republican nomination, and two have shown a willingness to spend their own money. Businessman Jon Del Arroz reported $277,000 on hand as of June 30, thanks largely to a $230,000 loan he gave to his campaign, and grape grower Brad Goehring reported $259,000 in the bank, fueled by a $250,000 loan. The third Republican in the race, attorney and former telecommunications executive David Bernal, did not file a campaign finance statement in the last quarter.

DeVore Strikes at NRSC After Cornyn Memo

Although she hasn’t formally announced her candidacy, the likely Senate bid of former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (R) was highlighted in a memo that National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) sent to GOP insiders this week. And that brought a broadside from state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, who is also seeking the GOP nomination for the right to challenge three-term Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) — which in turn was amplified by a gleeful e-mail from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

In the NRSC memo, Cornyn compared Fiorina to former New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R), who is preparing a Senate bid in the Granite State, noting that “both poll closely with their respective Democrat opponents without having formally entered their races.—

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, DeVore responded with an attack on the committee and Fiorina.

“I welcome Senator Cornyn’s endorsement of Carly Fiorina, my probable opponent for the Republican nomination to defeat Barbara Boxer in 2010,— he said. “Under John Cornyn, the National Republican Senatorial Committee has racked up an impressive string of endorsements in support of non-conservative, unpopular, poorly vetted candidates across the nation. These candidacies have thus far gone on to flounder or implode.—

The Chronicle account of the dueling statements was quickly circulated Wednesday by the DSCC.

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