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Race on to replace McKeon

Longtime Congressman officially announces his plans to retire from seat

Posted: January 17, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 16, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon
Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, officially announced Thursday that he plans to retire from his seat in the 25th Congressional District and has endorsed Republican former state Sen. Tony Strickland to succeed him.

McKeon, an 11-term veteran, will serve out the rest of his term this year. He was first elected to Congress in 1992.
Other local Republicans are lining up behind another candidate to replace McKeon: state Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale.

Knight, who announced his candidacy in December, claims what he calls a “pretty doggone good list” of endorsements that he said includes Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy, Board of Equalization member George Runner, former Republican state Sen. Sharon Runner, former Republican Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita.

Strickland did not return phone calls Wednesday or Thursday from The Signal asking about his own endorsement list beyond McKeon’s name.

Strickland ran unsuccessfully for the seat in the neighboring 26th Congressional District in 2012.

Both Strickland and Knight will have to contend with Democrat and Simi Valley podiatrist Lee Rogers, who challenged McKeon in 2012 and is running once again.

In the 2012 match, McKeon prevailed by more than 14,000 votes.

Two other candidates, Llano resident Jorge Ricardo “J.R.” Puentes Jr. and Lancaster resident and Air Force veteran Evan Thomas, have filed to run as Democrats in the upcoming 25th District election.
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