Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 1, 2014

McKeon Challenger Sees Advantages in Open-Seat Race (Video)

The candidate: Podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat.
The member: Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, a Republican.
The district:
 California’s 25th District, which McKeon has held since 1992.
The candidate’s team:
Bill Wachob of The Campaign Group (general consultant and media), Eric Hogensen of HSG Campaigns (direct mail), Jonathan Brown of Global Strategy Group (polling), Adam Nashban (fundraising and strategy).

Podiatrist Lee Rogers, a Democrat, views an open-seat race as advantageous in his second attempt for Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon’s 25th District in California.

“There will be more attention on the district if it’s an open seat,” Rogers said in an Oct. 11 interview with CQ Roll Call. “This is one that already shows [McKeon] to be vulnerable. I think more attention is probably good for the challenger.”

Insiders have speculated this could be the top Republican’s last term in Congress, although his aide said in April he has no plans to retire. President Barack Obama lost the district by a slim margin in 2012, which makes Democrats optimistic they could compete there if McKeon leaves.

McKeon defeated Rogers by nearly 10 points in the 2012 race for California’s 25th district. Rogers said he’s learned from his mistakes last cycle.

“I didn’t know anything about politics when I came in,” he said. “I hired some good people to help me out, and you’re smart to take their advice. But sometimes I would be campaigning way too early. I think that’s one of the mistakes I made.”

California’s 25th District is rated Safe Republican by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

This video interview series questions the scores of congressional hopefuls who visit the CQ Roll Call offices each cycle. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed. Have a question for a candidate? Follow us at @RollCallPols to learn about upcoming interviews.
Previous candidate interviews:
  • kind67

    He seems like a very impressive and likeable candidate–I hope he wins in a district that I think is trending toward the Democrats.

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