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  •   California Congressman's Widow to Run for His Open House Seat

    By Miles Pomper
    LEGI-SLATE News Service
    Monday, Nov. 17, 1997

    WASHINGTON (Nov. 17) — Lois Capps, the widow of a freshman California congressman who died last month from a sudden heart attack, announced Monday that she will run for his seat.

    Capps, 58, a former nurse and teacher, said that she will enter the special open primary on Jan. 13, seeking to win the nomination for the 22nd District seat formerly held by her late husband, Walter.

    Walter Capps collapsed from a heart attack at Dulles International Airport on Oct. 28 as he rushed to the House for a vote.

    Capps, a former professor, had narrowly won election in the battleground district in 1996, gaining only 48 percent of the vote in a rematch against his 1994 opponent, former GOP Rep. Andrea Seastrand, and two lesser candidates.

    He had won without the usual campaign polish of California's congressional candidates and with Lois having to campaign on his behalf for several months after he was severely injured in an automobile accident.

    Announcing her candidacy in a written statement, Lois Capps said, "Walter proved that you don't have to practice politics as usual to be a member of Congress. His commitment to reconnecting people to their representatives – to helping families improve their everyday lives through better schools, quality health care, and a cleaner, healthy environment – remains my commitment."

    She will compete in a special open primary where other potential Democratic candidates have stepped aside and Republicans are split.

    Unless one candidate wins more than half the vote, the top candidates from each party will advance to a runoff election in March.

    Declared Republican candidates include Assemblyman and tire heir Brooks Firestone, encouraged to run by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.; Assemblyman Tom Bordonaro, pushed by conservative lawmakers like Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif.; and Attorney Mike Stoker.

    © Copyright 1997 LEGI-SLATE News Service

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