As expected, Visalia Republican Devin Nunes today endorsed Richard Pombo, his former congressional colleague, to replace retiring Rep. George Radanovich.
Nunes called Pombo “a man of conviction” who was “wronged by the politics of Washington in the past.”
Pombo served seven terms in the 11th Congressional District before he was defeated in 2006 by Democrat Jerry McNerney. At the time, Pombo was chairman of the House Resources Committee, which writes environmental laws.
Nunes said he was proud that Pombo had decided to “get back in the arena in a district that is more like where he grew up.”
The 19th Congressional District stretches from Fresno north through Madera, Mariposa and Tuolumne counties to the eastern reaches of Modesto. Pombo’s former district was once exclusively in the San Joaquin Valley, but after reapportionment following the 2000 census, it picked up a chunk of the East Bay.
Pombo is facing state Sen. Jeff Denham of Atwater and former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson in the Republican primary. Others are considering a run in the district, which is considered safely Republican.
If he wins the Republican primary and goes on to win the seat, Pombo said his first priorities would be the water issue and reform of the Endangered Species Act.