Elizabeth Emken eyes House seat in new run for Congress

Republican Elizabeth Emken, thanking supporters after losing her bid to defeat Sen. Dianne Feinstein last year, announced Wednesday that she plans to run for the House seat held by Rep Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove).
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

SACRAMENTO -- Republican Elizabeth Emken, who fell short in her bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein last year, still wants to serve in Congress.

On Wednesday she announced plans to run against U.S. Rep Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove), who she denounced as an “Obama foot soldier.”

“I’ve got the conservative ideas for putting our country back on track,” Emken said in a statement. “You better believe Ami Bera and the Democrat establishment are scared to face me in this race.”

Bera, a freshman lawmaker, is up for reelection next year. He helped Democrats pick up four congressional seats in California in November, and he’s considered vulnerable in the next midterm contests.

Emken, 50, entered politics after spending years as an activist seeking more money for autism research. A son was diagnosed with autism when he was 4 years old.


She was easily defeated by Feinstein, who won her fourth full term. Emken previously ran and lost against Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) in 2010.

Emken is in the process of moving from Contra Costa County to Sacramento County, where she will live in her new congressional district, said Nina Mourning, a volunteer for her campaign. Emken owns a house in Fair Oaks.


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Twitter: @chrismegerian