The state party chose to back autism activist Elizabeth Emken among several little-known challengers to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). It also named some favorites in congressional races with more than one GOP candidate, including Long Beach Councilman Gary DeLong in the 47th Congressional District.
The party also picked Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), who is being challenged by Catherine Wright, daughter of former state Sen. Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley) in the 25th District and state Sen. Tony Strickland (R-Moorpark). Among Strickland's several rivals for the 26th Congressional District is Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, who recently switched her registration from Republican to no party preference.
Some of the local GOP clubs differed from the state party in their choices. The Santa Barbara County Republican Party endorsed tea party leader Chris Mitchum over former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado. The state party did not endorse in the contest for the 24th District, where challengers will try to unseat Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) in a newly drawn district.
The state party also made no endorsement in the 30th Congressional District, where veteran Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman are waging a high-cost battle for a San Fernando Valley congressional seat.
Two Republicans are running in that strongly Democratic district -- actor/businessman Mark Reed and author Susan Shelley. The Los Angeles County Republican party chose Reed, a conservative, over Shelley, a pro-choice moderate. That prompted Shelley to issue a news release highlighting Reed's "criminal record" and attached a copy of the Superior Court index of his record. That included convictions for two weapons violations in 2010.
-- Jean Merl
Photo: Pro-choice Susan Shelley lost to conservative Mark Reed for the Los Angeles County Republican Party's endorsement in the 30th Congressional District contest. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times