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Former Fresno mayor Jim Patterson (R) told local radio station KMJ News that he will run for the 19th district seat being vacated by Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.) in 2010, creating a competitive GOP primary.

Radanovich, who announced his retirement Tuesday, threw his support behind second-term state Sen. Jeff Denham of Merced, Calif., a businessman, Air Force veteran and up-and-comer in state Republican circles. Denham had already swapped races once this year, dropping a California lieutenant governor bid to run for an open state Assembly seat in Stanislaus County.

Patterson, who had been exploring a primary challenge to Radanovich, told KMJ that Denhman is “part of the problem,” dubbing him “a lifelong politician.”

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