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Local Republican joins campaign

Former McKeon staffer will help House hopeful in nearby 24th District

Posted: September 17, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 17, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

Staunch local Republican Bob Haueter is chomping at the bit for a chance to help turn the Democratic tide in California this coming election.

Comparing himself to a race horse in a recent interview with The Signal, the man who served as Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon’s deputy chief of staff for years in Congressional 25th District is now setting his sights on the district next door — accepting a role in former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado’s campaign for the 24th District.

“I was given an opportunity to get involved in one of the top two races in the country and still sleep in my own bed at night,” Haueter said about taking the offer.

“I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work in a race that is going to be very exciting,” he said. “A race horse doesn’t want to merely walk along a path — it wants to race.”

Republican challenge

The challenge for Republicans is to wrest District 24 from 14-year incumbent Democrat Lois Capps. Redistricting has leveled the playing field, and the race is expected to be a close one.

What was once a gerrymandered district of 47 percent Democrat to 27 percent Republican now stands at 38 percent to 35 percent — a horse race to the finish line in November, Haueter said.

“This district is known across the country as the ribbon of shame,” he said, referring to what he claims is a blatant example of gerrymandered district shaping.

Republicans see District 24 as crucial in returning California to their party — not to mention maintaining their hold on the House of Representatives.

Democrats see it differently.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in her speech to the Democratic National Convention this month, said: “We stand together in our ‘drive for 25’— 25 seats to win back the House — as we re-elect President Barack Obama!”

She further vowed to defeat her Republican counterpart, John Boehner, and “re-take the House.”

“Their game plan is take it back through California,” Haueter said.

For him, Pelosi’s promise is the gauntlet thrown down.

“It’s exciting because it’s made California competitive for the first time,” he said.

“This is the beginning of a rebuilding in California. And we see this as an opportunity to stop Nancy Pelosi and begin rebuilding California.

“I feel fortunate to be a part of it.”

Common fight

Haueter and his wife, Lynn, recently returned from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., where they were buoyed with news of a financial pledge from national Republicans to invest in 12 “crucial” California congressional campaigns.

And, while he works hard to see Maldonado elected in Congressional District 24, his wife is working hard to help Tony Stickland win Congressional District 26.

With all sides confident McKeon will win re-election to the 25th Congressional District, Haueter sees the re-building of a Republican California beginning with a wall of wins across three neighboring congressional districts — 24, 25 and 26.

“We’re going to take back control of Congress,” he said.

jholt@the-signal.com

661-287-5527

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