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April 30, 2009

Calvert faces likely rematch

Democrat Bill Hedrick, who came within two percent of ousting Rep. Ken Calvert in 2008, announced Wednesday he was jumping back in the ring for another shot at the southern California seat.

Hedrick, a longtime school board member in Riverside, failed to win the attention of national Democrats in 2008 despite running a close race. On Wednesday, Hedrick made it clear he intended to ramp up his fundraising operation early.

“The November 2010 election is only 16 months away – and while it seems like a long way off, I need to begin raising money now in order to wage an aggressive, focused, and targeted campaign against Mr. Calvert,” Hedrick wrote in an e-mail to supporters. “That is why I am announcing my candidacy today.”

Hedrick’s announcement came as little surprise to California insiders. The Democrat has said he intended to take another shot at Calvert’s seat since his narrow November loss.

Democrats plan to target as many as eight seats in California. Calvert’s seat – like others held by Republicans across the state – has seen a steep drop in GOP registration in recent years.

-- Alex Isenstadt