The former GOP candidate for House and U.S. Senate is exploring a run against freshman Democratic Rep. Ami Bera in Sacramento County's 7th Congressional District next year.
Emken, who lost to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein by double digits last year, has filed paperwork to raise campaign cash for a potential House campaign, her spokesman Mark Standriff said this week. While the Danville Republican has not made a final decision on where she might run, Standriff said her "focus is on CD 7 and Ami Bera" right now.
Bera, who narrowly defeated GOP Rep. Dan Lungren in a costly campaign last year, is expected to be a top target for Republicans, who believe lower turnout in the midterm elections could help them overcome Democrats' slight registration advantage in the new district.
A challenge to Bera would be Emken's third run for public office in the state. Before her loss to Feinstein, Emken came in last place in a four-way GOP primary for a Bay Area House seat.
Standriff said the former lobbyist and executive at the nonprofit Autism Speaks believes a seat in Congress "plays more to her strengths" than the local or statewide offices that would be up for a vote in 2014.
"Almost all of her experience has been in Washington, D.C., at the federal level," he said.
"She's spent most of her time dealing with congressmembers and senators and working with legislation there on the federal level. That's obviously where she's the most comfortable."
Emken would likely move to Sacramento County to run in the district. Several other well-known Republicans from the area are said to be eyeing the seat as well.
PHOTO CREDIT: Then Republican U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken talks to reporters at a news conference in Sacramento on April 10, 2012. Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press file, 2012.