RIVERSIDE — Actor Ralph Waite, who played the hard-working father on the TV series "The Waltons," is expected to formally announce Thursday that he'll run for the House of Representatives on the Democratic ticket.
Waite revealed his plans to seek the 37th District nomination at the monthly Riverside County Democratic Central Committee meeting Sunday. If he wins the nomination, his opponent would likely be incumbent Rep. Alfred A. McCandless, a Bermuda Dunes Republican first elected in 1982.
Tom Jameson, chairman of the central committee, said a Waite candidacy "will certainly add a great deal of excitement to the race."
Other Democratic candidates include Jeffrey E. Jacobs, a paper company account executive, and Johnny Pearson, a retired Air Force master sergeant.
The 37th District includes most of Riverside County. Republicans account for 48.6% of registered voters and Democrats 42.2%.
Waite, who is a resident of Rancho Mirage, a desert resort city near Palm Springs, briefly considered a congressional bid two years ago.
On "The Waltons," which ran from 1972 to 1981, Waite played the father of a large family struggling to make a living during the Depression in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.