August 24th, 2011, 12:46 pm
Posted by Martin Wisckol, Politics reporter

The ink was hardly dry on the certification of the new congressional districts when GOP Reps. Ed Royce and Gary Miller assumed campaign postures, with Royce apparently first out of the gate as the two incumbents race to win the new, tri-county 39th Congressional District.

It’s one of those cases where two incumbents live in a newly drawn district and there is no neighboring district that provides a better opportunity. For Miller, who lives in Diamond Bar, the nearest district is Democratic. Royce, who lives in Fullerton, had been thinking of moving south to Orange – but that’s now in a district with Irvine, where incumbent Rep. John Campbell lives.

(Politico reports that nearly a third of the state’s 53-member congressional delegation – eight pairs – could be facing off against one another.)

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission gave its final approval to the new districts the morning of Aug. 15 and Royce almost immediately sent out a press release announcing his candidacy for the new 39th, which includes parts of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

On Aug. 19, Miller sent out his press release announcement.

“There are very little ideological differences between the Republican candidates,” Miller said. “In the end, voters must decide who can get the most done to make their lives better.”

Of course, it’s up to the candidates to convince voters he’s that guy. To that end, Royce may have the initial advantage because the Federal Elections Commission’s site shows that he has $2.8 million cash on hand to Miller’s $1.0 million.

Royce also came out of the barrel first with announcing endorsements – and not just any endorsements but those of prominent politicians from Los Angeles County, Miller’s home turf. Among them, Sheriff Lee Baca, county Supervisors Don Knabe and Mike Antonovich, and six councilmembers on the L.A. County side of the district. The Lincoln Clubs of Los Angeles County were also listed as endorsers in the Aug. 22 press release.

Miller’s reelection campaign site – which still displays the map of his current district, the 42nd, and appears to be leftover from 2010 – shows some of those same endorsements, including whose of Knabe and Antonovich. Plus those of O.C. Supervisors Pat Bates and Bill Campbell. So it will be interesting to see if those endorsements get pulled for 2012 race – or if officials choose to endorse both candidates, which of course is a great service to voters.

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