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Ron Calderon to challenge Grace Napolitano for her House seat

August 9, 2011 |  1:50 pm

In a matchup between two high-profile Democrats, state Sen. Ron Calderon of Montebello said Tuesday he plans to challenge seven-term incumbent Grace Napolitano of Norwalk in next year’s election for her redrawn 38th Congressional District.

Calderon said his Senate district includes 70% of the population of the congressional district proposed by a state redistricting panel, which he noted is a greater portion of the new district than Napolitano represents. In announcing his candidacy, Calderon cited the service of two of his brothers in the state Legislature representing much of the area.

“This new congressional district, in an area historically represented by my family, will give me the opportunity to advocate for the Gateway Cities and the San Gabriel Valley on a national stage,’’ Calderon said. He said job creation and economic development are among his priorities.

Napolitano, who has clashed with Calderon in the past over district issues, was first elected to Congress in 1998 and has already announced plans to seek reelection. A spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment on Calderon’s challenge.

-- Patrick McGreevy