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UPDATE: Lancaster Democrat joins race for 25th Congressional District

Posted: October 1, 2013 11:02 a.m.
Updated: October 1, 2013 4:38 p.m.

Lancaster resident Evan Thomas, a retired Air Force officer and test pilot, announced Tuesday he plans to challenge longtime incumbent Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, to represent the Santa Clarita Valley in Congress.

Thomas, a Democrat, told The Signal his intentions Tuesday. McKeon’s seat is next up grabs in November 2014; the primary, during which he would face off against fellow Democrat Lee Rogers, is set for June 2014.

“I was in the Air Force for 28 years and so every day what we did was focus on our job, and we did the mission,” he said. “I don’t see that from Congress, and I think that’s what the American people deserve from their congressman: someone who is going to do the right thing and make sure things get done and take care of their people.”

Thomas, a native of the San Fernando Valley, served in the United States Air Force for 28 years, retiring from active duty in 2010.

While in the Air Force, he led combat missions over Iraq before working as a test pilot and directing an aircraft-testing force at Edwards Air Force Base.

The fact he has never run for or held political office would be an asset if he’s elected, Thomas said.

“I’m not intending to go up there and become a career politician,” he said. “I just want to go up there, do a good job and represent the people; and I think taking an attitude like that will be more productive to breaking the logjam that is currently hurting the nation and the economy.”

Thomas, who admitted his bid is somewhat of a “long shot,” said he is not worried about potentially splitting votes with Rogers, the other Democratic candidate who has already announced a 2014 run.

“I really don’t see it as harming either of our chances,” Thomas said. “I think it will sharpen whoever ends up going to the general election.”

McKeon defeated Rogers with more than 55 percent of the vote in 2012.

Rogers has been steadily raising funds and attending public events since his November loss to McKeon.

Earlier this year he announced his intention to run for a rematch in 2014.

Despite rumors that he is planning his retirement, McKeon has also filed paperwork to run for re-election in 2014.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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