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Rep. David Dreier’s Fate Rests With Map Lawsuit

For Republicans, Focus Is on Map and Money as California’s New Lines Prove to Be Challenging

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Rep. David Dreier (right) has not yet said where, or if, he will run for re-election.

Reps. Gary Miller and David Dreier face unlikely odds of winning re-election thanks to their state’s new Congressional map.

But the California Republicans are coping in different ways, with Miller quietly making preparations for a tough campaign while Dreier’s campaign lays dormant as he waits on a long-shot lawsuit.

Miller is locked in a Member-vs.-Member primary against fellow Republican Rep. Ed Royce, and Dreier, whose territory was practically obliterated by the redistricting process, hasn’t yet signaled whether he’ll seek re-election, or where.

Both turned in paltry third-quarter fundraising numbers. Miller raised $58,000 and Dreier brought in $44,000 — amounts low enough to draw the inquisitive eyes of political vultures.

Miller told Roll Call he is “absolutely”  running, and sources said he has privately assured his allies he is in the race while gauging support for his intraparty clash against a colleague among local officials. Miller hired a new consulting firm, Revolvis Consulting, to replace a longtime friend, Tim Carey, who guided Miller’s political ship during less trying times.

But Dreier’s political team is waiting on the resolution of a long-shot lawsuit against the new map led by former California Rep. George Radanovich (R). He took the matter to federal district court after the state Supreme Court threw out the case.

“There’s a new federal court case just filed this week. And that will play a big role in making the determination, won’t it? It depends on the lines,” Dreier told Roll Call when asked if he will seek re-election.

Is Dreier optimistic the lawsuit will succeed, forcing the lines to be redrawn? “Sure, sure,” he said.

He maintains that with $774,000 in the bank, he’ll have plenty of money to be competitive when the time comes. And he pointed out that he’s helped raise $500,000 for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Dreier’s Federal Election Commission filing reveals that longtime campaign manager Julie Vallante is no longer working on his campaign. She had been on the payroll since at least 2006.

Dreier spokeswoman Jo Maney said Vallante recently moved to Washington, D.C., with her husband, Mike Vallante, when he was hired by the Republican National Committee. But Maney did not reply to a question about whether Dreier plans to name a replacement.

Dreier’s lackluster fundraising is truly “astonishing,” one prominent consultant said. “He can raise that much in a single event,” the source said.

One remaining domino is Republican Rep. Jerry Lewis, who is deciding whether to run in a more competitive district in the San Bernardino Valley or a solidly Republican district in nearby Mono and Inyo counties.

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