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McKeon maintains lead

Both congressional candidates hold their election receptions in Valencia

Posted: November 6, 2012 11:11 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2012 11:11 p.m.
McKeon McKeon

Longtime Santa Clarita Valley Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon opened up a hefty lead over Democratic challenger Lee Rogers as election night progressed.

With 24 percent of the precincts reporting, McKeon was outpacing Rogers with 59 percent of the vote to 40 percent.

The election pitted McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, a well-entrenched politician, against Rogers, a podiatrist at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys. The two candidates have traded barbs on issues such as the proposed open-pit Cemex mine in Canyon Country, McKeon’s voting record, and Rogers’ lack of political experience.

McKeon has held his seat in Congress for more than two decades and previously served as the first mayor of Santa Clarita. Rogers had never run for any political office before this election.

Speaking at a campaign reception in the Hyatt Regency Valencia on Tuesday, McKeon said he was confident that he would be re-elected.

“I feel good,” he said. “I feel really good.”

McKeon criticized Rogers’ campaign as “negative” and said he expected to benefit from Rogers’ attacks.

Rogers, at his own campaign party at the Salt Creek Grille in Valencia, dismissed those accusations.

“You have to show people why they should fire someone before you can show them why they should hire someone new,” Rogers said. “I stand by everything I did.”

Rogers said he, too, was confident that he would eventually prevail.

McKeon said if the results hold, that the biggest task he would face would be working with Democrats in Congress and newly reelected President Barack Obama.

“It really bothers me, it really worries me,” McKeon said. “I didn’t think (Obama) would win.”

Rogers said, if elected, that his first action would be to schedule a meeting with local political leaders to identify the issues they want him to work on.

“There are things we all agree on,” Rogers said. “And if we start focusing on those, instead of always looking at what we disagree on, I think we can actually find solutions that benefit everyone.”




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