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McClintock Poised to Try for Fiedler's Seat : Entry Into Race Contingent on Congresswoman Running for Senate

October 10, 1985|LYNN O'SHAUGHNESSY | Times Staff Writer

Hoping to discourage competition in a congressional race next year, Assemblyman Tom McClintock (R-Camarillo) announced Wednesday his intention to run for the seat of Rep. Bobbi Fiedler (R-Northridge) if she runs for the U.S. Senate.

"Maybe we won't have any competition," McClintock said wistfully. "That's one reason why we're organizing so early."

An easy race, however, may be wishful thinking on McClintock's part.

Several Republicans have expressed interest in the seat, including Simi Valley Mayor Elton Gallegly, who already has raised about $100,000. Other possible contenders include Charles Imbrecht, a former assemblyman who is now chairman of the state Energy Commission, and Barry M. Goldwater Jr., a former San Fernando Valley congressman.

The conservative, 29-year-old McClintock said he expects to need $330,000 to win a contested Republican primary. So far, he said, he has raised more than $50,000 and has scheduled a fund-raiser next month.

The plans of all the Republican hopefuls are contingent upon Fiedler's not changing her mind about higher office. At this point, the congresswoman has made it known she will seek Sen. Alan Cranston's seat in 1986, but it may be several months before a formal announcement is forthcoming, said Paul Clark, her executive assistant.

On Wednesday, McClintock announced the formation of a congressional exploratory committee composed of more than 225 community leaders and politicians, including state Sen. Ed Davis (R-Valencia), Assemblywoman Marian La Follette (R-Northridge), Ventura County Dist. Atty. Michael Bradbury, the mayors of Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village and Agoura Hills, and other members of city councils.

"We've won the endorsement derby," said McClintock, who was joined on Wednesday by La Follette and Davis. McClintock was Davis' chief of staff from 1980 until he ran for office in 1982.

Because the 21st Congressional District has one of the highest percentages of Republicans in the state (50%), it is almost a given that the Republican who survives the primary will go to Washington. Ventura County contains 56% of the voters in the district and Los Angeles County 44%.

McClintock said he has not talked to Fiedler about his political plans but does not expect an endorsement from the congresswoman because he supports Davis--perhaps his most enthusiastic political booster over the years--in his bid for Cranston's seat.

Clark, who said Fiedler has not endorsed anyone yet, predicted it will be a "real tossup race" if McClintock, Gallegly and Imbrecht compete against each other.

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