State by State: California, Colorado, Idaho

California


California Assemblyman Guy Houston (R) last week announced he would not run for the seat of Rep. Jerry McNerney (D) in 2008, clearing the way for GOP businessman Dean Andal to win his party’s nomination.
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Houston, who told local newspapers that he instead would run for a seat on a local county board of supervisors, said the party preferred that Andal take on McNerney.

Andal, a former state assemblyman, entered the race several months ago and has drawn contributions from four members of the state’s House delegation.

McNerney defeated Rep. Richard Pombo (R) in last year’s election and occupies a seat in one of the most Republican-leaning districts held by a Democrat.

— Aaron Blake


Colorado

Both of the runners-up to Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) in last year’s Republican primary are considering another run at the party’s nomination, according to The Denver Post.

Both Jeff Crank, a former aide to Rep. Joel Hefley (R) who finished second, and Bentley Rayburn, a retired Air Force major general who finished third, expressed interest in a primary.

Lamborn won the 2006 primary with 27 percent, followed by Crank at 25 percent and Rayburn at 17 percent.
Afterward, an outgoing Hefley denounced Lamborn’s campaign tactics and refused to support him.

— A.B.


Idaho

Rep. Bill Sali’s (R) approval rating is below 30 percent, and his disapproval mark is 46 percent, according to a poll released Monday by one of his opponents, 2006 Democratic nominee Larry Grant.

The poll showed just 29 percent of respondents approved of Sali. Grant was close behind at 28 percent but had a much lower unfavorable rating of 13 percent.

Sali emerged from a crowded primary last year with 26 percent of the vote and won less than 50 percent in the general election, beating Grant by five points.

Grant faces a primary against appraiser Rand Lewis.

— A.B.