A third Republican has decided to take on Democratic Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove) for a Northern California congressional seat next year.
Igor Birman, who emigrated with his family from the former Soviet Union as a child and is now chief of staff to Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Granite Bay), said he will announce his candidacy for the 7th Congressional District seat on Thursday.
Birman joins fellow Republicans Doug Ose, a former congressman, and autism activist Elizabeth Emken, who ran unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) last year.
The 7th Congressional District, which includes the suburbs east of Sacramento, is nearly evenly divided in registration between Democrats and Republicans. Bera unseated longtime Republican Rep. Dan Lungren last year after unsuccessfully challenging him in 2010.
Birman plans to make his announcement at 10 a.m. at the historic outdoor amphitheater in Folsom. He is expected to be joined by McClintock and several other community and government leaders.
“My parents risked everything to get my brother and me to America, because they believed in the power of freedom and the greatness of America,” Birman, who became a U.S. citizen at age 19, said in a statement. “I want to ensure that the same American Dream that brought us here is secure for future generations.”