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State senator Oller announces bid for U.S. Congress

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Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 10:00 pm

Galt's state senator has announced that he's running for Congress.

Sen. Rico Oller, R-San Andreas, plans to run for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Doug Ose, R-Sacramento.

The district includes Alpine, Amador and Calaveras counties, portions of Solano County and most of suburban Sacramento County, including Galt.

"Rico had been talking to a lot of people and touring the district … and everyone he talked to said, 'Rico, this is for you,'" said Steve Davey, an official with Oller's campaign. "We're really excited."

Oller, a self-described conservative Republican, plans to hold an official announcement rally and campaign kick-off Friday in Rancho Cordova. He was out of the area and could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

In May, Ose announced he wouldn't seek re-election to the House of Representatives next year. In his letter, Ose said he planned to retire to spend more time with his family and honor a pledge he made to serve no more than three two-year terms.

Oller, who launched an exploratory committee in late April, is endorsed by Reps. John T. Doolittle, R-Granite Bay, and Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, as well as former Republican candidate for governor Bill Simon and Matt Fong, former GOP state treasurer. Simon has taken out papers to run for governor once again in October's recall election.

With radio talk show host Tom Sullivan recently announcing on air that he would not run for Ose's congressional seat, former Attorney General Dan Lungren is the only other probable Republican candidate. A Democrat has yet to step forward.

Oller, 45, was born in Fresno and currently lives in San Andreas.

He grew up in the Mother Lode and attended California State University, Stanislaus where he earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy with a minor in political science.

In 1981, he began a successful business in the building industry, Material Ventures, Inc. He is currently Chairman of the Board of his company and employs more than 30 people with locations in San Andreas, Merced and Placerville.

In November 2000, he was elected to the California State Senate representing the expansive 1st District which covers Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento and Sierra counties. Due to the recent reapportionment, the 1st Senate District gained a large portion of Sacramento County and had Butte County, Yuba County and portions of Nevada County and Placer County removed.

From 1996 until his election to the Senate, Rico represented the 4th Assembly District (the lower half of his current Senate seat).

He is married to Londa, his wife of 24 years, and they have four children.

For more information about Oller's rally on Friday, call (916) 442-3990. It will be held at Woodmack Products, 14430 White Rock Road, in Rancho Cordova.

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