“The Republican free-for-all to replace retiring GOP Rep. John Doolittle is ugly and getting uglier,” the San Francisco Chronicle wrote in 2008, referring to the race between Tom McClintock and Doug Ose for Congress.
This year’s congressional race between Sam Aanestad (whom McClintock is supporting as a campaign “co-chair”) and Doug LaMalfa is ugly and getting uglier too. The latest example: Aanestad’s “dirty tricks” allegations against LaMalfa over a political website Sam4Congress.com.
In fact, both men are staunch conservatives, and the race is splitting the GOP in small towns throughout the district (including ours). Some moderates are turning to the Democratic candidate, Jim Reed, but he doesn’t have much funding.
Here are some highlights of the McClintock-Ose race, which McClintock won:
•“GOP Split in Congressional Race”
“During the final debate, Mr. McClintock accused Mr. Ose of taking money from Jack Abramoff, the jailed Republican lobbyist whose ties to Mr. Doolittle are forcing the incumbent into retirement. Mr. Ose’s spokesman said later that Mr. Ose had never met Abramoff and gave the $1,000 donation to charity.” —Washington Times
•”The candidates have debated personal issues, including mutual accusations of carpetbagging and dirty tricks. McClintock fired back with a TV ad questioning Ose’s connection to farm subsidies on his land and demanding that he release his tax returns.” — “Wither Gold Country Conservatism” in National Review
•”The mostly rural district faces plenty of problems, ranging from ever-present water issues to soaring gas prices in an area where it can be a 30-mile drive to the supermarket. But voters aren’t likely to hear much about issues in the constant din of attack ads that are likely to land between now and the June 3 election.” — “War of Words in Race to Replace Doolittle” in S.F. Chronicle.
This time around it will be hard for Aanestad (McClintock’s choice) to topple LaMalfa, who has strong business and political ties to the district. In the meantime expect the ugly campaign to get uglier.
The battleground largely will be the Redding area — a reminder of our county’s marginal influence in this district.
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