Challengers sign up vs. Calvert, Kirk

Democrats officially landed two recruits Wednesday, with Corona-Norco School Board Member Bill Hedrick announcing his repeat campaign against Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.) and Illinois state Sen. Michael Bond entering the race for Rep. Mark Kirk's (R-Ill.) seat.

Neither is a surprise, as both had previously expressed interest in running. Kirk is a longtime Democratic target who should announce in the next few days whether he will run for statewide office. Calvert is a new target after falling victim to a wave of support for President Obama and narrowly beating Hedrick last cycle, 51-49.

Hedrick had already said he would run. He will need to raise far more than the $200,000 he raised last time, though, and the national Democratic Party is helping him.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) is hosting a fundraiser for Hedrick in June.

"I have lived in this district for almost 30 years, raised my five children here, and both my wife and I have been educators in Riverside County for over two decades," Hedrick said in a statement.
"I understand what families in our region are up against and every decision I make will be with their best interests in mind."

Bond could be part of a crowded primary in Kirk's district, with state Sen. Susan Garrett and two-time nominee Dan Seals having shown interest as well.

Bond said: "Our country is facing enormous challenges. Decisions are being made that will affect Americans for generations to come, and it's important to have people in Washington who will take a fresh approach to today's problems, who will fight for what's right and get something done."

-Aaron Blake