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Herger to face Johnson

Updated: Wednesday, March 3, 2004 1:49 PM PST



YREKA - Congressman Wally Herger ran unopposed in Tuesday's primary election and will be facing Butte County teacher Mike Johnson for the second time in November.

Herger received 100 percent of the 72,000 Republican votes cast in his district. Johnson took a little over 44 percent of the votes cast by Democrats in Tuesday's primary.

Republican Central Committee vice-chair for Siskiyou County, Sam Wakim, described Wally Herger as the strongest Republican candidate facing re-election in the fall. Herger is almost an institution in Siskiyou County and District 2, having served as the Representative in Congress for the past 17 years. He sits on the Ways and Means Committee, one of the most powerful committees in the House and is a member of the Liberty Caucus.

"We know where Wally Herger stands," Wakim said. "He has been consistent in his views concerning the budget and spending, and we have to admire him for that."

Johnson is critical of Herger, saying for the past 17 years Herger has represented District 2, he has shown himself to be the "greatest do-nothing congressman of all time. He has not done anything for this district," Johnson claimed.

Johnson is also critical of the "let it burn" policy that the national forests currently operate under and favors letting timber contracts on a regular basis, salvage logging and maintaining the national forests to eliminate catastrophic fires that are becoming so common in the West.

Johnson took only 30 percent of the vote in his bid for Herger's congressional seat in 2002, but said this morning that when you run for election to a national office for the first time, you "pretty much are flying blind." After that first campaign, Johnson said he has learned a lot and is much better prepared this time.

Congressman Herger was not available to comment about the election. - SDN story by Pat Arnold





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