Elizabeth Emken, a Republican who has run unsuccessfully twice for Congress, announced she is challenging first-term Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., in the 7th District.
That district is a top GOP target this cycle, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already placed Bera in its Frontline program for vulnerable incumbents. Bera defeated then-Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., by 4 points in 2012.
Also last cycle, Emken came in second in California's new top-two primary among dozens of candidates running against Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. In the general, Feinstein routed Emken, 62.5 percent to 37.5 percent. In a Wednesday letter to supporters, Emken sought to turn her unsuccessful campaign against Feinstein in 2012 as a positive in this race.
"This district is a 50-50 Republican-Democrat split. I'm coming off a U.S. Senate race where I garnered 4.7 million votes and rallied conservatives across California," Emken wrote in her letter. "I can win this race in 2014."
Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates this race a Lean Democrat contest.