Second Republican Calls Dibs on McKeon Seat if He Retires

Republicans speculate McKeon will retire from Congress, but his spokeswoman said he has not made a decision yet. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Steve Knight told the local press Tuesday that he will run for the 25th District if current Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., retires.

Knight marks the second Republican to stake his claim on the district. Former state Sen. Tony Strickland filed federal paperwork over the weekend to run in the district, but the GOP hopeful said through an aide he will only follow through with the bid if McKeon retires.

Many California political operatives from both sides of the aisle have speculated that the 11-term McKeon won't seek re-election in 2014.

"Congressman McKeon hasn't made any decisions about 2014," McKeon spokeswoman Alissa McCurley said in a Monday afternoon email, adding that the congressman is currently focused on the National Defense Authorization Act.

McKeon's seat is a top target for Democrats in 2014. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the seat by a 2-point margin in 2012.

Podiatric surgeon Lee Rogers, a Democrat, is running for the seat for a second time, after losing to McKeon in 2012.

California's 25th District is currently rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.