Mimi Walters, Ray Haynes

Former State Senator Ray Haynes.

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
January 6, 2014

Republican Ray Haynes is weighing a run for Congress in the Southern California desert.

In an email to supporters, the former state lawmaker said he may seek the 36th Congressional District seat held by freshman Rep. Raul Ruiz.

Haynes’ entry would complicate what was expected to be a two-way race between Ruiz and GOP Assemblyman Brian Nestande, who has carved out a reputation as a moderate voice in the caucus. Ruiz emerged as a top target of Republicans after soundly defeating former Rep. Mary Bono Mack in 2012.

Republicans enjoy a nearly 1.5-percentage point voter registration advantage in the district that stretches from Hemet east to the California-Arizona border.

“The time to win the 36th Congressional district is this year, and so, if I am to re-engage in politics, this would be the time to do so,” he wrote. “That is why I am looking at this seat now.”

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