Tony Strickland ad heats up Buck McKeon succession race

Former state Sen. Tony Strickland, shown in 2012, has a radio ad running in the race to succeed Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Former Republican state legislator Tony Strickland has launched the first radio ad in the race for an open Santa Clarita/Antelope Valley area congressional seat.

And the narrator of the ad is none other than retiring Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita), the man Strickland and several others want to replace.

“Hi, I’m Congressman Buck McKeon, and I’ve been fighting liberals in Washington since before it was cool,” the ad begins.

McKeon continues, saying nice things about Strickland, a former state senator from neighboring Ventura County, whom he endorsed when he announced his retirement last month.

Earlier, Strickland had announced and begun raising money to challenge freshman Rep. Julia Browney (D-Westlake Village) but switched to McKeon’s district shortly before the veteran congressman announced his retirement.


Although several others are running, Strickland’s main competitor is likely to be state Sen. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale). Knight has been endorsed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and all members of the Palmdale City Council, among others.

Three Democrats have filed statements of candidacy, the first official step toward getting into the race.

Among them is podiatrist Lee Rogers of Simi Valley, who lost to McKeon two years ago, 55%-45%.

While demographics are changing in the once-solidly Republican 25th Congressional District, most observers expect the seat to remain in Republican hands this year.


Opponents stock war chest for malpractice fight
Assembly fundraising race previews tough election battles

Solis faced federal inquiry concerning role in Obama fundraiser

Twitter: @jeanmerl