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Former Reagan, Bush Aide to Seek Congressional Seat


YORBA LINDA — James V. Lacy, a former official in the Reagan and Bush administrations, formally announced his candidacy Tuesday for the newly configured 61st Congressional District, which stretches from Diamond Bar and Yorba Linda to San Bernardino County.

Lacy was endorsed in his bid for the GOP nomination by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Long Beach) and leaders of two major anti-tax groups during a press conference at the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace.

Tax reform and deregulation of business represent the only way out of the current recession, said Lacy, who added: "We've got to take every step we can to try to unglue the restrictions on this economy."

Former U.S. Atty. Gen. Edwin Meese III also appeared at the event but stopped short of endorsing Lacy, a lawyer who was general counsel to the Consumer Products Safety Commission under President Ronald Reagan and chief counsel for technology in the Bush Administration.

Two others have already announced plans to seek the GOP nomination in the district: former Assemblyman Charles Bader (R-Pomona), who ran unsuccessfully for a state Senate seat in 1990, and John Eastman, once a spokesman for the Civil Rights Commission, who lost a 1990 congressional race in the San Gabriel Valley. Meese is scheduled to appear today at a breakfast for Eastman.

Lacy, 39, moved to Yorba Linda from Washington in late December specifically to run in the district. His only prior connection in the area was attending Pepperdine Law School when it was in Anaheim in the middle to late 1970s. During that time, he worked for the 1978 Proposition 13 tax initiative.

Even if Lacy can establish a base in Orange County, much of the campaign will probably be focused outside the area. The bulk of the district lies in San Bernardino County, where Bader has been based.

Lacy's campaign manager, Ray Sullivan, said he expects the primary campaign will cost about $300,000. Lacy said he has already raised about $85,000.

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