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Campaigns kick off with open filing season

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Fourth District congressional candidate Doug Ose joined Supervisors Bruce Kranz and Kirk Uhler as first-day filers Monday for the June 3 primary. The filing period for candidates continues through March 7, with the race to succeed U.S. Rep. John Doolittle, R-Rocklin, and three Placer County Board of Supervisors seats up for the vote. Ose filed Monday morning for the Republican Party nomination, arriving at the county elections division office in North Auburn just as Kranz and supporters were packing up after an announcement event. Ose, a Sacramento resident, said he wants to find a home in the Fourth District so he can establish residence and vote for his own candidacy in the coming election. Other candidates who have announced but had not filed their papers include former state senator Rico Oller of San Andreas and Roseville military security advisor Eric Egland. Ose's day also included a stop to talk the Journal editorial board in Auburn, where he said his main reason for running again “ this time in the Fourth District after three terms in the Third District from 1998 to 2004 “ was to try to right an economy he considers in the tank. I'm the only candidate on the Republican side with a chance of retaining this seat, Ose said. Charlie Brown is a formidable opponent. Brown spokesman Todd Stenhouse said later in the day that the retired Air Force officer “ the only Democrat to announce plans to run for the Fourth District seat “ was busy with other activities in the district but was committed to filing soon. We welcome Doug and Rico to the race and to the Fourth Congressional District, Stenhouse said Once they get to know the people and families here, they'll grow to understand voters in the district are not looking for partisan politics. Instead, voters will be looking to a candidate like Brown, who can bring people together of all political stripes, Stenhouse said. Brown lost a close election to Doolittle in November 2006, polling 46 percent of the vote to his Republican opponent's 49 percent. Ose said polling he's done has shown that he would be the only Republican candidate who could beat Brown. The June primary would decide the Republican and Democratic Party congressional standard-bearers for the Nov. 4 election. Board of Supervisors posts “ if left unchallenged or kept to a two-candidate race “ would be decided in June. As well as Kranz, supervisors Kirk Uhler and Jim Holmes are seeking a return to the board. Uhler registered to run for the Fourth District seat on Monday. Holmes, who was on an East Coast visit to tour Drexel University this week, intends to file when he returns. County Elections Chief Jim McCauley said that the flurry of filings Monday bodes well for races that have been lightly contested or not contested at all in the past. Doolittle had consistently won elections until the last one by wide margins. It's great to have candidates, McCauley said. The county will have to shoulder the cost of three elections in one year until the state can reimburse it, McCauley said. That could be as long as two years from now for a February election expected to cost $1.1 million, a June primary costing about $750,000, and the November election that he estimates will cost well over $1 million. The November elections will feature races for local city councils and special districts, which aren't part of the first two votes. The Journal's Gus Thomson can be reached at gust@goldcountrymedia.com.