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McNerney Should Be Breathing Easier; Aghazarian to Run for SenateU.S. Congressman Jerry McNerney -- last November's upset winner over Rep. Richard Pombo -- should be breathing a little easier today after Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian announced he'll be running for the State Senate in 2008 instead of Congress.
The affable Aghazarian told the Stockton Record he'll be running for the State Senate seat held by Sen. Mike Machado, who is term limited in 2008. Machado easily defeated the GOP Senate candidate in the district in the last election, despite heavy support from Gov. Schwarzenegger. Aghazarian will likely face Rep. Lois Wolk of Davis, one of the hardest working members of the legislature.
Assemblymember Guy Houston -- a Democratic opposition researcher's dream candidate -- now appears to be the frontrunner for the GOP Congressional nod in the sprawling Bay Area/Central Valley district represented by McNerney. Houston has won narrow victories in his Assembly district, which overlaps a chunk of the Congressional district. Houston was recently described in the Contra Costa Times as a legislative lightweight with a boatload of court problems after being sued for ripping off senior citizens in financial dealings.
Of course, if the term limits initiative passes in February, I've got a feeling that both Houston and Aghazarian will stay put. Aghazarian has a solid lock on his district, and is a player in the Assembly GOP. Houston will no doubt face another strong test in an Assembly re-election contest, but he's more likely to win that than in a Congressional slugfest.
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