Kirby fails in challenge of Doolittle
The conservative incumbent enjoyed a commanding victory over the moderate challenger in the Republican primary Tuesday for California’s 4th Congressional District.
Rep. John Doolittle, with roughly three times the votes of Auburn urologist Bill Kirby, will face Democrat Mark Norberg and Libertarian Allen Roberts in the Nov. 5 general election.
“Mainstream Republicans are taking a beating,” Kirby said from his party at Live Oak Plaza in Auburn. “I think for a 21/2-month campaign that got outspent 10-to-1, we really scared this guy, and we brought him back to the district.”
Although from the same party, Doolittle and Kirby presented stark differences during their campaigns, with Doolittle calling Kirby “supposedly, a Republican.”
The incumbent has fought for the Auburn Dam while the challenger calls it a “boondoggle.” The incumbent is anti-abortion while the challenger is pro-choice.
Kirby, a self-described moderate, also highlighted Doolittle’s support of an Indian casino in Placer County and subsequent opposition to it.
Despite those differences, Kirby said it is time for party unity within the district.
“It’s going to be our job, if he does win, to keep him focused on the 4th District instead of the Beltway,” Kirby said, touching on the issues of logging, water rights, farming and regional planning.
“We need to get the Republican Party to be more inclusive or it’s going to be a dinosaur in California,” he said.
In the end, it appeared redistricting didn’t affect Doolittle, whose district pulled in Nevada County – a former 2nd District county under Republican Rep. Wally Herger – since the last election.
Nevada County voters reflected the outcome across the district, which includes Placer, El Dorado and Sierra counties.
Doolittle, 51, of Rocklin, was first elected to the House in 1990.
John Doolittle 77%
Bill Kirby 23%
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