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Laura Capps Won't Seek Mother's Seat in California

Capps is not seeking re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Laura Capps announced Monday she will not seek the California seat being vacated by her mother, Democratic Rep. Lois Capps.  

The younger Capps, a Democratic political operative and nonprofit consultant, had long been viewed as a potential successor in the Santa Barbara-based 24th District.  

“I’ve decided that now is not the right time for me, Bill and our four year-old-son, and I will not be seeking election to Congress in 2016," Laura Capps said in a statement. "I have great respect for members of Congress who have young families, and hope there will be more of them, but a cross-country commute would make it hard for me to be the mom I try to be every day."  

Two Democrats have already announced bids: Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal and Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider.  

For Democrats, Capps' pass removes a complication from the state's top-two primary system. Some feared another Democrat in the race could splinter the primary vote and allow two Republicans to advance to the general.  

There are currently two Republicans in the race: Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and cattle rancher Justin Fareed.  

The district leans more strongly Democratic in presidential years. President Barack Obama carried it by 16- and 11-point margins in 2008 and 2012, respectively.  

But in 2014, with a smaller electorate, Lois Capps nearly lost re-election, defeating a lackluster GOP opponent by 3 points.  

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