GOP Assemblyman Kevin Kiley wins key rural California congressional district
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Los Angeles • Kevin Kiley walked into his final campaign swing last February, a year after his Republican opponent came within 2 percentage points of unseating him in a district that stretches from the East Bay to Redding in northern California. Then, as he was leaving, Kiley said he was confident that this time would be different. “We’re going to have a lot of money and have a lot of power in this election,” Kiley told me. “We’re going to win here.”
Kiley ended up losing the race, but the lesson he took from that encounter was clear, not just to him but to the rest of the country: There was a good chance he was right.
Kiley, a Republican from Redding, who won last year’s race by less than 2 percentage points, was born in a log cabin and grew up in a small town 30 miles away. As a young adult, he built a successful business that made him the perfect candidate to succeed the retiring Assemblyman Dan Lungren (R-Fullerton) as the new dean of the Assembly Republican caucus.
In the end, he won, but just barely, in an election that was far closer than he thought. He had to work hard to convince voters that he could carry the district with far less money than he raised during his campaign.
And there isn’t another Republican from Redding who is as deeply entrenched as Kiley — a man who has had more than two dozen jobs whether as a business owner or a state legislator. He has done it all while being married to the beautiful Julia Ann and the father of four children.
But in the end, he didn’t win.
The other winners