California House Race Heats Up

rogan CBS

This election year, Republicans are striving to hang on to their slim majority in the House of Representatives - making the race for every seat count. But in California, one congressman is taking what some may consider a risky approach.

Rep. Jim Rogan, a Republican, played a starring role in President Clinton's impeachment two years ago when he presented evidence against Mr. Clinton.

Now he may be about to pay for it, because he is targeted for defeat by angry Democrats.

"I know its out there and I know they've unleashed all the forces of hell against me, political hell," said Rogan.

Rogan is bedeviled by the relatively unknown Democratic candidate Adam Schiff in what's become the most expensive house race in history. Together, it's estimated that they will spend $11 million in a campaign where some of the important issues are public education and the impeachment.

Even without the impeachment issue, Rogan would seem to be an odd fit for this Democratic district, primarily because of his anti-abortion rights, pro-gun ownership positions. More registered Democrats than Republicans live in the suburbs north of Los Angeles that comprise Rogan's congressional district.

One would think the last issue Rogan would bring up is impeachment, but that is not the case. Instead, Rogan's taken to the airwaves to proclaim his role as a badge of political courage.

"I angered some of my Democrat friends when I supported impeachment but I've stood up to the leaders of my own party too," said Rogan in one of his campaign ads.

His opponent is amazed. "I frankly find it bewildering that he wants to campaign on impeachment," said Schiff.

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political science professor at Claremont University, seems to think he may be taking to big of a risk. "What is at stake is control of the U.S. Congress ... Impeachment or not, Jim Rogan is vulnerable."

But Rogan said he won't be swayed by the idea of losing the race because of the impeachment issue.

"If anybody is waiting for me to say 'I'm sorry' or 'I take it back' or 'I wish it hadn't happened,' they've got a long wait."

With the election less than only four weeks away, voters will soon have their say.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

Comments