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County group gives nod to Buck, but none for Assembly

Republicans meet in LA to select endorsements for upcoming city, county, state, federal elections

Posted: March 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 12, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Republicans representing Los Angeles County have chosen to endorse Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon in the local House race, but chose not to endorse any candidate in the 38th California Assembly District race, including McKeon’s wife, Patricia.

On Saturday, Republicans representing 26 districts inside Los Angeles County met in Los Angeles to select candidates for endorsement in upcoming city, county, state and federal elections.

Bob Haueter, chair of the 38th Republican Party Central Committee, was among those attending the event.

“The L.A. County Republican Party endorsed Congressman McKeon for re-election over his two Republican primary opponents,” he told The Signal on Sunday.

“The (L.A.) party chose not to endorse in the contested 38th Assembly seat, where Patricia McKeon, Scott Wilk and Paul Strickland are seeking election,” he said.

Buck McKeon’s two Republican opponents in the congressional race are local financial adviser Dante Acosta who announced on Wednesday he was running and Catherine Wright, of Simi Valley, whose mother by the same name represented the Santa Clarita Valley during the ’80s.

Acosta said he was encouraged to run after he went publicly calling for answers into the death of his son Army Spc. Rudy A. Acosta, who was shot and killed a year ago in Afghanistan by a rogue private security firm recruit.

In throwing their support behind the incumbent congressman, Los Angeles County Republicans join their counterparts representing Ventura County in supporting the re-election of McKeon, said Haueter, who works as the congressman’s chief of staff.
Kellar endorsement

“Finally, the committee took up the motion to endorse the re-election of Santa Clarita City Councilman Bob Kellar for re-election,” Haueter said.

The same county Republican group had decided to table Kellar’s endorsement Feb. 9, after it was told about an investigation into a loan Kellar received from a local developer.

The Fair Political Practices Commission has since concluded its investigation with a letter to Kellar telling him not to repeat the loan situation, but with no other penalties.

On Saturday, the Los Angeles County Republican Party — the largest county Republican group in the state — chose to unanimously rally behind Kellar.

Reached at his home Sunday, Kellar said he was very pleased and grateful about the endorsement by county Republicans.

“It’s a significant endorsement,” he said. “I’ve very appreciative.”

State race

In choosing a candidate to endorse for the 21st State Senate seat, Los Angeles County Republicans endorsed Assemblyman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale.

Two weeks ago, Knight announced he was running for the state Senate seat currently held by Senator Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster.

Runner announced last month she will not seek re-election.

She was released last week from the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after undergoing a double lung transplant


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