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Norman Solomon, a Democratic activist from Marin County, Calif., is intent on making a race of the battle for the district of retiring Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D).

Solomon, who has raised $200,000 since entering the race in January, is the top competitor for the open seat against Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D). Unlike Huffman, Solomon’s message is focused toward the liberal wing of the party.

In an interview with Roll Call in Washington, D.C., Solomon said that in Congress he would “fight for the progressive wing of the Progressive Caucus.” Asked whether that could hurt his chances in an election, even in a heavily Democratic district, Solomon noted that Woolsey — a former co-chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus — has always been to the left of the district and was still “beloved.” Solomon, an anti-war activist, said he, unlike Huffman, offers continuity.

“This race is a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party,” Solomon said. “This is going to be a referendum in one of the most progressive districts in the country.”

Had it been in place in 2008, the redrawn 2nd district, which extends from the Golden Gate Bridge up the Pacific Coast to the Oregon border, would have voted 72 percent for President Barack Obama.

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