With the retirement of longtime incumbent republican George Radanovich, the 19th district congressional seat is wide open.
Four republicans and two democrats are running for the office. The GOP candidates include former 11th district congressman Richard Pombo of Tracy and state senator Jeff Denham of Atwater. Pombo and Denham are engaged in a heated battle for the nomination.
Stanislaus State University political science professor Larry Giventer says the two are making similar appeals to voters.
“The contention between the two candidates seems to be who can lay claim to being the most conservative. Both of them on their billboards bill themselves as a conservative republican.”
The other GOP candidates include a former Fresno mayor and current Fresno city councilman. Because of a larger number of registered voters, analysts say the winner of the republican primary will be the favorite in the November general election.