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McKeon, Rogers set early stage for possible Congressional rematch

Posted: July 21, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 21, 2013 2:00 a.m.

More than a year remains until voters will return to the polls to elect a member of Congress to represent the Santa Clarita Valley, but the two men who duked it out in last year’s race already appear to be taking steps toward a rematch.

Both incumbent Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, and last year’s Democratic challenger, Simi Valley podiatrist Lee Rogers, have filed statements of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission to run in California’s 25th Congressional District, records show.

In doing so, the two could step into the ring for a redo of last year’s sometimes contentious campaign, during which McKeon characterized Rogers as a political novice out of touch with the political pulse of the Santa Clarita Valley and Rogers claimed McKeon was a Washington insider beholden to special interests.

In the end, McKeon won re-election to another term by a comfortable margin, outpacing Rogers by close to 10 percentage points.

Rogers says he definitely plans to run again in 2014.

“I filed the paperwork to run so it’s not an exploratory committee or anything like that,” Rogers said Friday. “I am fully committed to running.”

Rogers also said he will work in the coming months to continue to have a presence throughout the district.

“It is kind of a building process; you have to generate that name recognition,” he said.

Though rumors have swirled in recent months that McKeon is planning to retire from his seat, spokeswoman Alissa McCurley said the congressman is not thinking about stepping aside at this point.

“At this time the congressman has no plans to retire,” wrote McCurley in an email Friday. “The congressman is concentrating on the hard work currently facing Congress — work that he was elected to do not even a year ago.”

McKeon, a former mayor of Santa Clarita, has represented the Santa Clarita Valley in Congress since 1993.

Rogers, a podiatrist at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, has never held elected office before.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney


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