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On a Run of Strong Congressional Candidates

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call
South Carolina businessman Tom Rice has the makings of a strong Member of Congress, and he’s a lock to win in a newly created Horry County-based district, Stuart Rothenberg writes.

His opponent, Gary DeLong, the lone Republican on the Long Beach City Council, is acknowledged, even by Democrats, to be a formidable nominee and the best candidate Republicans could put up against Lowenthal.

A former telecommunications executive and self-described moderate, DeLong, 52, is pro-abortion rights and supports gay marriage. He also supported the city’s plastic bag ban. Smart, politically astute and somewhat more aggressive than Lowenthal, DeLong gives the GOP an unexpected shot in this district.

Finally, although former San Diego City Council President Scott Peters (D) lost a bid for San Diego city attorney in 2008, he should give Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) a real run for his money in November.

A specialist in environmental law who now serves on the San Diego Port Commission, Peters is a polished politician who knows how to respond to questions and criticisms and demonstrate his knowledge of policy. He won the Democratic nomination by defeating a very liberal former Member of the California Assembly who had the support of progressive groups. A pragmatic liberal, he is the kind of politician who prefers results to posturing, something Washington, D.C., needs.

Stuart Rothenberg is editor of the Rothenberg Political Report.

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