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Strickland Switches Races to McKeon’s District in California (Updated)

Republicans are speculating whether McKeon will seek another term. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Republicans are speculating whether McKeon will seek another term. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:42 a.m. | 

Former state Sen. Tony Strickland, a Republican, filed federal paperwork this weekend to run in the same California district as longtime Republican Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon.

Strickland had initially launched a rematch bid in the neighboring 26th District, where he lost to freshman Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., in 2012.

But Strickland had hinted that he was eyeing a run in the 25th District if McKeon retired — an event many California Republicans speculated is imminent. Now that Strickland has officially filed to run in McKeon’s district, additional questions remain whether McKeon will seek a 12th term.

McKeon’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment on his re-election plans in 2014. However, earlier this month, McKeon spokeswoman Alissa McCurley told the local press, “The congressman has no plans to retire.”

But Strickland moved closer to a bid in the 25th District early last week when he endorsed Republican state Rep. Jeff Gorell in the 26th District. At the time, Strickland did not publicly announce whether he was suspending his bid in the 26th District nor whether he was switching to the 25th District.

In early November, Strickland told the SCVNews blog, “I just think Buck needs to decide what he’s going to do.”

“Obviously, I’m a fan of the chairman,” Strickland added. “If he were to retire, I would take a look at the seat.”

California’s 25th District is a top target for Democrats in 2014. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district by a 2-point margin in 2012.

California’s 25th District is currently rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Update 11:42 a.m.

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