By Leon Worden / SCVNews.com
If the congressional race worked the same way as the supervisorial race, Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon would be all done campaigning in 2012 because he captured just over 50 percent of the vote Tuesday night: 50.2 percent, to be precise.
But it doesn’t work that way.
Under California’s new “top two” primary election system – just as he would have done under the old system – he’ll face his Democratic challenger in a November runoff.
That person is Simi Valley podiatrist Lee C. Rogers, who finished second in the four-way race with 30.2 percent of the vote.
Two other first-time Republican candidates finished out of the running: Dante Acosta of Canyon Country with 12.9 percent and Victoria Catherine Wright of Simi Valley with 6.7 percent.
McKeon faced his most contentious challenge to date this year when Acosta, the Gold Star father of Army Spc. Rudy Acosta, entered the race. Rudy Acosta was killed in Afghanistan by an insurgent masquerading as a guard. Acosta had lobbied McKeon to change military policy and prohibit Afghan nationals from guarding U.S. troops.
McKeon questioned military brass to unsatisfactory result – unsatisfactory both to McKeon and to Acosta, who believed McKeon wasn’t sufficiently proactive.
For her part, Wright is a first-time candidate whose mother, former state Sen. Cathie Wright, died during the campaign. Known previously as Vicki, the younger Wright used a derivative of her middle name, Cathie, on the ballot.