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Denham now seeks seat in U.S. Congress
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The 2010 election landscape shifted significantly on Tuesday, and once again State Senator Jeff Denham (R-Merced) was at the center of the changes.
Denham announced Tuesday he will seek election to the U.S. House of Representatives next year. This is the third electoral campaign Denham has linked himself to this year.
On Dec. 5, 2008, Denham announced his intentions to campaign for the seat of lieutenant governor. Less than a month ago, on Dec. 11, Denham revealed he would discontinue that campaign to instead challenge for a seat in the State Assembly being vacated by Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto).
Denham’s Tuesday decision to run for the congressional seat was made possible by Rep. George Radanovich’s (R-Ca19) announcement that same day that he will not seek reelection in 2010.
Radanovich, a Mariposa resident, has held the 19th Congressional District seat since 1994. His decision to not campaign for reelection was predicated on the poor health of his wife, Ethie, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Radanovich said in a press release.
“During the past couple of months, Ethie and I have had deep and often emotional conversations giving thanks for our many blessings and setting our priorities as a couple and as parents,” Radanovich said. “It was during these sessions that it became clear to me that the time has come for me to place my family first and my public service career second.”
Radanovich will complete this session of Congress before retiring, he said, and will make agriculture and water the focus of his final days. In his retirement statement, Radanovich endorsed Denham to become his replacement.
“In looking for the most qualified person to replace me in Congress, one name kept coming up whenever we discussed the subject,” Radanovich said. “Now, more than ever, we need to have a representative who understands our Central Valley’s agriculture and water needs. We need someone with a proven track record as a fiscal conservative willing to stand up to the tax and spend crowd. We need someone who will present new ideas and workable solutions to the problems our district and nation face.”
Radanovich contacted Denham and asked him to consider running for the seat, as the pair’s districts already overlap to the tune of 100,000 constituents. Radanovich said he was impressed with the work Denham had done for voters.
The respect between the politicians was mutual.
“I was both surprised and honored when George Radanovich called to tell me of his decision and ask me to consider running to succeed him in Congress,” Denham said. “George has served the people of the Central Valley with great dedication and accomplishment for 15 years. He first ran for Congress for all the right reasons, and he is leaving for the right reason — to spend more time with his family.”
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.