ROGAN ANNOUNCES BID FOR RE-ELECTION; AREA REPUBLICAN TO FORGO CHALLENGING FEINSTEIN FOR SENATE SEAT.
Facing a partisan battle for his congressional seat, U.S. Rep. James Rogan said Wednesday he has decided to run for re-election next year.
By seeking a third two-year term in the House of Representatives, Rogan, R-Pasadena, is taking himself out of the 2000 race for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Republicans statewide had encouraged Rogan to take on Democrat Feinstein because they were impressed with his role as one of 13 House prosecutors in President Clinton's impeachment trial.
But Rogan said the rigors of a statewide campaign against a tough opponent would mean spending very little time with his wife and his twin 6-year-old daughters.
``It would mean turning my wife into a single mother with two young children for two years,'' the 41-year-old legislator said. ``It wouldn't be good for me as a dad.''
Rogan will likely face off against state Sen. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, who announced last week he is running for Rogan's 27th District congressional seat.
Schiff was encouraged to do so by Democrats convinced Rogan is vulnerable in the district because of the impeachment issue. Voters in the Rogan's district supported Clinton in 1992 and 1996.
``Adam Schiff and I know each other well. We've run against each other twice before,'' Rogan said. ``We'll have an interesting spirited race.''
Rogan beat Schiff for the 43rd District Assembly seat in a special election in June 1994 to replace Assemblyman Pat Nolan, who quit after pleading guilty to a federal racketeering charge.
With the advantage of incumbency, Rogan again beat Schiff in the November 1994 regular election.
Schiff said Wednesday he is also looking forward to a rematch.
``Back in 1994, neither one of us had a record. Now we both have a record,'' Schiff said. ``I have a record of paying attention to local issues in the district. He has a record of being completely absent in the district.''
Schiff is already well-known in the entire 27th Congressional District because it is in his 21st state Senate District.
Rogan's high-profile role in the impeachment trial has many predicting he'll lose in his Democrat-leaning district. Such Hollywood heavyweights as producer Norman Lear and entertainment mogul David Geffen said they would target Rogan for defeat in response to his role in the impeachment trial.
But Rogan's prosecution of the president also made him a hero to Republican faithful who encouraged him to run against Feinstein.
Rogan said he was not deterred from a Senate race by a Field Poll that showed him trailing Feinstein 62 percent to 32 percent in a trial matchup.
Feinstein, he said, has spent millions of dollars on statewide races in the past and has much higher name recognition in northern California. He said getting more than 30 percent in the poll was good considering he has ``never spent a nickel on statewide identification.''
Once a Republican stronghold, the 27th District now has voter registration that is 45 percent Democrats and 38 percent Republicans. In 2001, those numbers could get even bigger for the Democrats because of reapportionment, which will be overseen by Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and a state house possibly controlled by Democrats.
So far only San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn has announced he will seek the Republican nomination to run against Feinstein.
State Sen. Ray Haynes, R-Riverside, expressed interest in the seat but bowed out to lead a group of legislators who petitioned Rogan to run.