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Larry Miles and Chris Parker have decided not to run in the 8th Assembly District, leaving Rancho Cordova Councilman Ken Cooley as the lone Democrat standing in the race for the newly drawn Sacramento County seat.

Cooley will be opposed by four Republicans, elections officials said. They include businesswoman Barbara Ortega, railroad engineer Phillip A. Tufi, technology company president John Flynn and Peter Tateishi, who is chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren.

One minor party candidate also has filed for the race, Libertarian Janice Bonser, a businesswoman.

Democrats hold a two percentage point edge over Republicans -- 40 percent to 38 percent -- in the district, which stretches from Citrus Heights south to the Wilton area.

Parker's and Miles' decisions not to compete for the seat leaves Cooley as his party's flag bearer.

Parker, an attorney with the Franchise Tax Board, ran unsuccessfully for the Board of Equalization in 2010.

Miles, an attorney, is a school board member for the San Juan Unified School District who lost to Richard Pan in the 2010 Democratic primary for the 5th Assembly District. The state later redrew legislative district boundaries.

Miles said he concluded that he could not generate enough support to win the Assembly seat. One consideration, but not the only one, was that he felt Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez was inclined to support Cooley, who is a "marvelous city councilman" and a good Assembly candidate, Miles said.


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