LaMalfa challenges Keene in a Gran Torino

311021Doug LaMalfa rode behind our vehicle in the Fourth of July parade in Grass Valley, and we spent a good deal of time talking while waiting for the parade to begin.

Doug is running against Rick Keene for Sam Aanestad’s senate seat — assuming there is a state legislature in the June primary of 2010, because the state just dissolved away like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Both conservative politicans were once close friends. Now they are fighting for the seat being vacated by Sam.

Central Valley and Foothills politics are always personal. Sue Horne’s alliance with Doug partly (or largely) cost her Rick’s endorsement for the assembly race that she lost to Dan Logue last year.

I was reminded of that as we rode past Sue in the parade and waived. She looked good, holding a youngster and wearing a big smile on her face.

Doug was no doubt participating in the parade to shore up his support in our county (just as Tom “can you get off your ideology high horse to get us some stimulus funding” McClintock was).

It will be a tight race for Aanestad’s seat. Though conservative, LaMalfa did endorse the more moderate Doug Ose over McClintock. LaMalfa also has a pretty good ability to forge relationships across the aisle.

I still give Rick the edge over Doug for the seat being vacated by Dr. Sam the Dentist over term limits, but you never know. (Isn’t our state legislator’s behavior worse than a root canal?)

Doug was walking alongside his own 1969 powder-blue Ford Torino, now a campaign car.

The Tornio was featured in a 2008 drama with Clint Eastwood. It doesn’t usually pay to bet against Clint.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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