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In a race to watch, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R) launched his first TV ad in the 24th district.

Maldonado is one of two Republicans challenging Rep. Lois Capps (D), whose once-safe district was redrawn as one of the state’s most competitive in redistricting.

As the only Democrat, Capps is assured of advancing beyond the June 5 all-party primary, while Maldonado and actor Chris Mitchum (R) battle for the second spot.

“Together, my family turned a few acres into a thriving, family-run small business, creating jobs and opportunities,” Maldonado says in the ad. “But what about future generations? Washington is threatening the American dream. Bank bailouts, costly regulations — they don’t make things work, they make things worse.”

The Maldonado campaign spent $200,000 to air the ad for three weeks, according to a campaign spokesman. Capps launched two television ads last week that are running on broadcast and cable through the primary and focus on her work on behalf of the district since being elected in 1998.

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