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SamAanestad.JPGFormer Republican Sen. Sam Aanestad has decided to enter the race for a vacant Northern California congressional seat, setting the stage for a same-party showdown with Republican Sen. Doug LaMalfa.

Aanestad's newly retained campaign spokesman, former California Republican Party Communications Director Mark Standriff, confirmed today that the former legislator will be a candidate in the 1st Congressional District.

Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, will be Aanestad's campaign chairman, Standriff said.

GOP Rep. Wally Herger, who now represents the area, announced last month that he will not run for re-election in the district, which runs from Yuba City to the Oregon border. Herger, of Chico, endorsed LaMalfa shortly after announcing his own retirement plans.

Aanestad told The Bee last month that he was considering a run for the seat. The 2010 lieutenant governor hopeful said the 12 years he spent representing the region in the state Legislature make him a good fit for the district.

"I already know most of the local issues of each of the areas and the people involved in the history," he said at the time. "It wouldn't be much of a learning process in terms of getting up to date on what the issues are for the district."

Standriff said Aanestad is unavailable to comment on his plans today due to patient appointments at his Grass Valley dental and oral surgery practice. He plans to make a formal campaign announcement tomorrow.

Former GOP Sen. Sam Aanestad considering run for Congress
LaMalfa 'moving forward' for Congress run after Herger announcement

PHOTO CREDIT: Then-Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Penn Valley, listens to the debate in the California upper house on Friday, September 11, 2009. Hector Amezcua, Sacramento Bee.

Editor's note, 1:09 p.m.: This post has been updated to reflect that Rep. Tom McClintock will be former Sen. Sam Aanestad's campaign chairman, not his manager.


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