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More potential candidates emerge in congressional race

Posted: February 27, 2014 6:10 p.m.
Updated: February 27, 2014 6:10 p.m.

Three potential new candidates, two of them local to the Santa Clarita Valley, have emerged in the race to replace Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, who announced earlier this year he will not run for re-election to the seat he has held for more than two decades.

Stevenson Ranch resident David Bruce, a Libertarian; Saugus resident Troy Castagna, a Republican; and Porter Ranch resident Navraj Singh, also a Republican; have all indicated interest in running for the 25th Congressional District seat, according to records on file with the Los Angeles County Office of Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.

The 25th Congressional District, which encompasses portions of the Santa Clarita, Antelope and Simi valleys, has been represented by McKeon since 1993.

Bruce said Wednesday he is committed to running for the seat, despite never running for political office before.

“I guess it comes down to the old saying, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” he said of his inspiration to run.

Bruce, who described himself as a fiscally conservative and socially liberal Libertarian who believes in “limited government and maximum freedom,” said part of the reason behind his decision to run is he’s tired of partisan gridlock in the nation’s capital.

“I just think there’s room for common sense in Congress and I think that’s what I can provide,” he said.

Another local and Republican, Castagna, said Thursday he thinks his professional background as a financial and tax adviser would serve him well if he is elected.

“I would like to lower taxes,” he said. “Being that that’s what I work with every day, I see what people are paying and I think we’re paying too much.

“We need good representatives like myself to go to Washington and make a difference,” he said.
Castagna said he thinks his lack of previous elected experience might be a good thing.

“Sending Sacramento politicians to fix Washington — is there a worse idea?” he said.

Singh, a Republican, is no stranger to congressional campaigns — this being the fourth time he has run.

“I believe that it takes a while to have the name recognition, and people want to know you, who you are,” he said Thursday. “And I think that threshold has been crossed.”

Singh said part of the reason he is inspired to run is because of partisan gridlock. “The biggest problem in Washington is that both sides are not talking to each other,” he said.

“I’m going there not to make a career — just to make a humble difference,” he said.

The race to replace McKeon has already attracted interest, and money, on both sides of the aisle. Declared candidates include 2012 Democratic nominee and Simi Valley podiatrist Lee Rogers, current state Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and Republican and former state Sen. Tony Strickland.

Lancaster resident and Air Force veteran Evan Thomas has also said he plans to run for the seat as a Democrat.

The open primary for the 25th Congressional District will be held June 3.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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