Democrat Raul Ruiz challenged by Republican with the same name in California race

Democrat Raul Ruiz challenged by Republican with the same name in California race
© Greg Nash

Voters in California's 36th District might have a choice between Raul RuizRaul RuizHouse Democrat who's a physician calls on Trump to 'man up' and wear mask In Trump response to coronavirus, left sees environmental injustice House coronavirus bill aims to prevent utility shutoffs MORE and Raul Ruiz in the 2020 election for the contested seat. 

A Republican Raul Ruiz announced Thursday that he was entering the race against incumbent Democratic Rep. Raul Ruiz.

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Ruiz, the Republican, said he is running because "he sees the big government policies that AOC [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocratic strategist Andrew Feldman says Biden is moving left Hispanic Caucus asks Trump to rescind invitation to Mexican president Nadler wins Democratic primary MORE (D-N.Y.)], Congressman Ruiz and the rest of the liberal partisans in Congress are pushing and knows that they are threatening what makes this country great — our ability to start and grow businesses, support our families, and improve our communities," according to his website.

He has enlisted Republican strategist Peter Towney, who used to work on campaigns for the National Republican Senate Committee, as a political consultant for his congressional bid, the Palm Springs Desert Sun reported. 

Rep. Ruiz was first elected in 2012 and won reelection with 59 percent of the vote

The district leans slightly Democratic, according to the Cook Political report, which gave it a D+2 rating. 

According to the Desert Sun, the challenger lives in California's 41st Congressional District, currently represented by Rep. Mark TakanoMark Allan TakanoThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Rep. Rodney Davis says most important thing White House can do on COVID-19 is give consistent messaging; US new cases surpass 50k for first time The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Cure Violence Global founder Gary Slutkin says violence and epidemics follow same patterns; Global death toll surpasses half a million MORE (D), and he pulled out of a City Council election in Perris, Calif., after he admitted that he misrepresented his address. The newspaper noted that congressional candidates don't have to live in the districts they represent.

This is not the first time two candidates with the same name have gone head to head. In 2018, Kansas Rep. Ron EstesRonald (Ron) Gene EstesEncouraging research and development can drive America's recovery House GOP lawmakers urge Senate to confirm Vought Electric Avenue: The Democrats' crusade to rob from the poor to build electric cars for the rich MORE (R) faced another Ron Estes in the Republican primary.