Ex-Rep. Dornan Opens Campaign To Regain Seat
Kicking off what promises to be an expensive and rancorous campaign on both sides, Republican Robert K. Dornan on Saturday announced a nine-month fight to win back his former seat in Congress from Democrat Rep. Loretta Sanchez.
The declaration came just two days after Sanchez announced she would run for reelection and Congress turned aside Dornan's 15-month challenge to her 984-vote victory in 1996. The Republican-dominated Congress said it had uncovered voting by noncitizens and other irregularities, but too few to cast doubt on the result.
Speaking in a small tent during a downpour to about two dozen family members and supporters, Dornan began his 11th campaign for Congress by reciting a list of World War II battles and vowing a warrior's challenge to Sanchez, whom he claimed he had "treated with kid gloves" in 1996.
"I start as an underdog," he said. "I'm a fighter pilot. . . . I like to play offense." Dornan flew fighters for the Air Force during peacetime.
Both sides said they expected to spend at least $2.5 million each, much of it on direct mail and television.
Sanchez has raised about $1 million and has about $600,000 on hand, while Dornan has raised $1.4 million and has about $300,000 in cash. Both expect Congress to reimburse about $400,000 each in legal expenses for the contested election battle.
Dornan first must win the GOP nomination against Superior Court Judge James L. Gray, lawyer Lisa Hughes and Anaheim City Council member Bob Zemel.
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