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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is sticking with his endorsement of state Sen. Jeff Denham for the seat of retiring Rep. George Radanovich (R-Calif.), despite the fact that former Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) has joined the race.

The National Republican Congressional Committee chairman sought to tamp down questions after another member of California’s GOP delegation, Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-Calif.), formally announced his endorsement of Pombo on Thursday and added, that “other members of the California Congressional Delegation are expected to support Pombo in the contested primary,” as well.

Nunes’ release then included a quote from McCarthy in which McCarthy said, “I was not aware of Richard’s candidacy when I made my initial endorsement.”

“Richard has a long history of being a strong leader and fighter for ag and water in our state,” McCarthy continued.

However McCarthy told CQ-Roll Call he was not backtracking from his initial choice. “I endorsed Denham. I’m not backing away from my endorsement of Denham,” he said.

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