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 RuizCBO: Fix backed by doctors for surprise medical bills would cost billions Democrat Raul Ruiz challenged by Republican with the same name in California race House to vote on stopgap spending measure to prevent shutdown 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-CortezObamas' first Netflix project nominated for Critics' Choice Documentary Awards Sanders wishes Ocasio-Cortez happy birthday Democrat launches primary challenge to Ocasio-Cortez 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 TakanoOvernight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Impeachment inquiry overshadows Trump at UN | Veterans push VA to follow through on reforms | Iranian leader open to changes in nuke deal Veterans groups push VA to follow through on reforms Democrat Raul Ruiz challenged by Republican with the same name in California race 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 EstesCongress must enact greater taxpayer protections Democrat Raul Ruiz challenged by Republican with the same name in California race 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill MORE (R) faced another Ron Estes in the Republican primary.