(Well worth thinking about. The Republicans already are… P.S. Vote for Charlie! – promoted by juls)
(cross-posted from Daily Kos)
With the impending implosion of John Doolittle, it has occurred to me that it might be good to start paying attention to likely Doolittle replacements. At the very least, Doolittle will face a tough primary fight in 2008 (connections to the Placer County Republican Central Committee have confirmed that they are searching for another candidate). Of course, Doolittle may also be booted from office or forced to resign before then, in which case we will have a special election.
Below is a list of possible Republican candidates, with a quick paragraph for each one. We should be working to find out more about these people and also make sure we are aware of any other possible candidates not listed here. It is crucial that we make sure that Charlie Brown wins this seat in 2008 (or sooner).
Also, there are possible Democratic spoilers in the event of a special election. People to definitely keep an eye on.
If I left anyone out, please let me know. I am not as familiar with El Dorado County politics, so I am sure I am missing at least a couple of credible contenders. I’ll update this as needed based on the comments.
*Possible Republican Candidates*
Sam Aanestad – State Senator for the 4th SD, which overlaps some of the 4th CD. He was elected to the State Assembly in 1998 and then to the State Senate in 2002. He is a UCLA trained Oral Surgeon. I am not sure of his place of residence (and thus his eligibility to run in the 4th CD).
Dave Cox – State Senator for the 1st SD, which overlaps with much of the 4th CD. He was elected to the State Senate in 2004, having previously served for 6 years in the State Assembly.
Ted Gaines – State Assemblyman for the 4th Assembly District. The 4th AD overlaps with much of the most populated areas of the 4th Congressional District. Doolittle and Gaines were very close during the 2006 election and even held a joint victory party. Though a Doolittle protégé, he is well liked and has not been around long enough for anyone to dig up any real dirt on him. He smashed his opponent (Rob Haswell) in the 2006 election by almost 2-1. (This of course means that MANY voters voted for Charlie Brown and Ted Gaines on the same ballot.) He is high on the list of possible Doolittle successors.
Jim Holmes – Placer County Supervisor (District 3). A respected and well-liked local Republican. He was extremely supportive of Mike Holmes’ primary challenge to Doolittle and thus gains the same benefit of already having distanced himself from the Doolittle corruption. Brother of Mike Holmes.
Mike Holmes – Former Mayor of Auburn, current Auburn City Councilman, and the only Republican to challenge Doolittle in the 2006 Republican primary. Having already distanced himself from Doolittle as a “principled” Republican, he is essentially immune to criticism for “just another corrupt Republican.” He did not, however, ever endorse Charlie Brown in the general election. Brother of Jim Holmes.
Bruce Kranz – Placer County Supervisor (District 5) and Doolittle crony. Kranz has been Doolittle’s man from day one. Kranz is probably one of the best (for Democrats) candidates that could jump in the race. He is fully involved in the Doolittle machine. He is probably the biggest proponent of the Auburn Dam (after Doolittle of course). He served as the supervisor for the Auburn State Recreation Area for a number of years, actively working to inundate it under millions of gallons of water. Should not be difficult to dig up enough dirt on Kranz to bury him in an election against Brown.
Roger Niello – State Assemblyman for 5th AD. His district does not overlap a great deal with the 4th CD, but he could run anyway. He lives in Fair Oaks, which is just outside the district, so he would have to make a move (to just down the road really) to run. Not too likely, but something to watch for.
Pauline Roccucci – Candidate for Placer County Supervisor in 2006 (against “Rocky” Rockholm) and former Mayor of Roseville. Most Democrats voted for Rocucci both in the initial election, and in the November run-off against Rockholm. Rockholm easily won. As a very moderate (even liberal) Republican, she could siphon off votes from Brown if she runs. Rumored to be a RINO. Pauline is a registered nurse and the wife of Richard Rocucci.
Richard Roccucci – Roseville City Councilman. Like Pauline, rumored to be a RINO. He seems content to stay in his seat on the Council, but is someone to watch out for just in case. Husband of Pauline Rocucci.
F. C. “Rocky” Rockholm – Placer County Supervisor (District 1) and a former Roseville City Councilman. A relatively likable guy, Rockholm is not considered the sharpest tool in the shed and his general appearance is more “Blue Collar” than Congressional. He is, however, a long time figure in Placer County politics and well liked among Republicans. He is a Mormon, and thus, gains the same benefit Doolittle had of overwhelming support from the large LDS population in the district.
Jerry Simmons – Trustee from Area 4 for Sierra College. His existence on the Board of Trustees is itself an example of the rampant corruption and cronyism that Doolittle has instilled in politics in Placer County. By funneling money (hundreds of thousands of dollars) into this race, Doolittle ensured that his preferred candidate (Simmons) won. A recall effort to get rid of Simmons (and Trustee Aaron Klein) in 2006 failed to do so.
Tom Sullivan – Sacramento Radio and Television personality, and close friend of Rush Limbaugh. Sullivan hosts the most popular Sacramento radio show (The Tom Sullivan Show). He strongly defended Doolittle throughout the 2006 election and took every opportunity he could to smear Charlie Brown. He occasionally sits in for Rush Limbaugh when Limbaugh is out. As a resident of Granite Bay, he lives within the district and could be potentially very dangerous as a candidate. The key will be to demonstrate his pattern of defending Doolittle even when it was obvious that Doolittle was a crook. He will energize the Republican base and really turn out the vote.
Kirk Uhler – Placer County Supervisor (District 4) and resident of Granite Bay. Uhler was appointed to the seat vacated by Ted Gaines by the four sitting supervisors. Previously served as a Supervisor from 1993 – 1996. Not much name recognition, but in a race like this a no name Republican may be good for the Republicans since he’s hard to tie to Doolittle in any significant way.
Robert “Bob” Weygandt – Placer County Supervisor (District 2). Weygandt has been on the Board of Supervisors for more than a decade. He is VERY well liked and respected. He does not seem to be tied in with the Doolittle Machine. He would be one of the best candidates the Republicans could have.
*Possible Democratic Spoilers*
Bill Santucci – An obvious DINO, he was a “founding” member of “Democrats for Doolittle” in the 2006 election. He was on the Placer County Board of Supervisors (1st District) until 2006 and served as the Board Chair for 2006. He may be encouraged to jump into the race to steal votes for Brown in order to help Republicans maintain the seat.
Lisa Rea – Candidate for Congress in the 2006 Democratic Primary. Virtually came out of nowhere and entered the race. Claimed to have been a longtime member of the Lincoln Democratic Club, but few (if any) had ever heard of her. As the most liberal candidate, she garnered a decent amount of activist support. Anyone who knows the district knows that Lisa could NEVER win here. Her supporters tried to stop the CDP endorsement of Charlie Brown after it had been given. She refused to ever endorse Charlie Brown in the general election.
*Third Party Candidates*
I don’t think a Green will run (no Green ran in 2006). Also, many of the Greens were active and important supporters of Charlie Brown in 2006. They recognized the importance of sticking with the Dems in this race and I think they will again. As for the Libertarians…
Dan Warren – Warren ran in 2006 and pulled in 5% of the vote, which I believe was about double the percent of registered Libertarians. Clearly a number of people were unhappy with Doolittle, but didn’t want to vote for a Democrat. I’m not sure if it would be possible to convince Dan to not run, but it would probably be helpful if it could be done.