Doolittle keeps hold on seat |

Doolittle keeps hold on seat

Although Rep. John Doolittle edged out Charlie Brown in a tough election race, the Democratic challenger was winning Nevada County as of last night.

Doolittle, R-Roseville, led Brown by 5 percent in District 4 after more than 80 percent of the votes were counted as of midnight. Late last night, Brown conceded the race, according to spokesman Todd Stenhouse.

In Nevada County, however, Brown was ahead by more than 10 percent with more than half the precincts counted – the only county in the district where he was in the lead.

If the county results hold, it would be a local upset for such a traditional Republican stronghold.

The head of the Republican Party in Nevada County downplayed the county results.

Doolittle trumped opponents by wider margins in previous elections, winning 65 percent of the 4th District’s vote in the last two races. Support for the incumbent has been weaker in Nevada County, with 58 percent of residents voting for him in 2004.

Brown raised double what Doolittle pulled in during the past three weeks of the campaign. Brown raised about $250,000 during that period. In total, however, Doolittle raised $2.85 million, while Brown netted $1.4 million, according to campaign finance filings.

Doolittle held an advantage in California’s 4th Congressional District – which covers the northeast portion of the state – where 48 percent of voters are registered Republicans and 30 percent are registered Democrats. Five percent voted for Dan Warren, the Libertarian candidate from Truckee, in both the district and countywide results.

In the grueling race, the eight-term incumbent attacked Brown’s membership in the American Civil Liberties Union and the organization’s defense of the free speech rights of the National Man-Boy Love Association. He also criticized Brown’s lack of condemnation for gay marriage.

Brown, in his first bid for elected office, made the war in Iraq a large part of his platform. Polls showed the issue loomed large in voters’ minds. The challenger, whose son has served in Iraq, advocated a timetable for withdrawal.

Doolittle’s policy is to not set a date for U.S. soldiers to depart from Iraq.

All three Democratic candidates in the primary ran on platforms of reforming corruption in Washington, D.C. Brown continued the assault on Doolittle’s integrity up until Election Day.

Doolittle’s office is currently under investigation by the Justice Department, according to the Washington Post. Campaign filings show the congressman paid a criminal defense attorney $38,000 in recent months.

Doolittle received campaign money and has other ties to criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff and military contractor Brent Wilkes, connections Brown charged are illegal or unethical. His wife, Julie Doolittle, worked for Abramoff’s law firm and earns a 15-percent commission on some funds her husband raises.

The race here was among the most closely watched in the nation, where Democrats seemed to have taken control of the U.S. House for the first time since 1994.


To reach Staff Writer Josh Singer, e-mail or call 477-4234.

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