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September 01, 2008

Gore Heading To California

He's not on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Red to Blue list of hot challenger candidates, but attorney Nick Leibham still apparently merits attention from one of the most popular party bigwigs around today. Leibham, running against California Rep. Brian Bilbray, will welcome Al Gore to his district in late September.

Gore will hit fundraisers in Rancho Santa Fe just six weeks before the general election, the San Diego Union Tribune reports today. Those events will help close the gap between Liebham's cash on hand and Bilbray's, though the Democrat has kept the chase for cash impressively close.

Gore may be good for filling Liebham's bank account, but he may not be a huge vote-getter in the Fall. The former Vice President won just 43% of the vote in the coastal San Diego County district. In 2004, John Kerry little better, winning 44% to the 55% President Bush received.

Bilbray is used to being a target. In just over two years since he started his second stint in Congress, filling in for jailed ex-Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Bilbray has been targeted twice by national Democrats. Bilbray beat Democrat Francine Busby by a 50%-45% margin in the special election and 53%-43% in November. Democrats complain Busby was subpar, and assert Liebham will give Bilbray a better challenge.