Republican Art Moore filed paperwork Friday to challenge veteran GOP Rep. Tom McClintock, casting himself as a pragmatic supporter of limited government with roots in the foothill-based 4th Congressional District.
Moore said it’s clear that the federal government is not working for the district, which he believes should be represented by someone with a completely different perspective on public service.
“One of the dynamics of this campaign is a career politician vs. somebody that has a business career and a military officer career who wants to just go and make Washington work,” said Moore, 35, an Auburn native who moved to Roseville from the Washington, D.C., area in December.
A graduate of Placer High School and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Moore brings to the campaign a combined 14 years of active duty and National Guard service. He spent 30 months deployed overseas and currently is a major in the Army National Guard, he said.
Moore also said he has worked as an executive in the building products industry and as a management consultant serving government clients in the U.S. intelligence community.
This is his first run for office, and it’s being guided by veteran Republican consultant Rob Stutzman, who helped run campaigns for former GOP attorney general and Rep. Dan Lungren and worked for ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Jon Huey, McClintock’s campaign manager, characterized Moore as a “mystery candidate.”
“I don’t know anything about him except that he has been planning this since at least January, when his campaign website was reserved,” Huey said. “We have been hearing for the past month that he was hoping not to have any Democrats in the race, and obviously three Democrats took out papers but changed their minds.
“Tom has always welcomed all comers to the race and certainly welcomes Mr. Moore. He’s very curious to learn more about his candidacy as the election unfolds.”
McClintock, a lion of conservative causes for decades, secured the congressional seat in a tough race six years ago and since has had little trouble retaining it. Despite his long record and high profile, he holds just over $350,000 in his campaign account as of Dec. 31, according to federal filings.
His role in the protracted fight over the partial federal government shutdown received criticism and helped draw a Democratic opponent out of the woodwork. But Kris Johnson, a Granite Bay businesswoman, dropped out of the race for personal reasons. Sacramento television news anchor Walt Gray also flirted with a run, but ultimately decided against it.
The 4th District takes in portions of Roseville and extends from Lake Tahoe past Yosemite National Park. It encompasses all or parts of 10 counties, including Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa, and Tuolumne, as well as Nevada, Placer, Madera and Fresno.
A native of Thousand Oaks, McClintock represented Ventura-area districts in the state Legislature and mounted unsuccessful runs for controller, lieutenant governor and governor.
Moore said his purpose for running is to give voters an alternative. He believes McClintock is too extreme for the district and for California.
“My alternative offers somebody who grew up in the district, who is going to live in the district, put the people first and be a true representative,” he said.
Moore said he’s a lifelong Republican but acknowledged not voting in past elections because of the hectic nature of his overseas schedule and a self-imposed discipline that career military officers should not participate in politics. Most recently, he said, he deployed as operations chief of a 430-soldier light infantry battalion in Egypt’s Sinai.
Moore said he opposes abortion, but believes the decision should be between a woman and her doctor. He would support restrictions on late-term abortions and does not think taxpayers should pay for medical procedures with which they disagree.
He is a self-described “libertarian” on gay marriage and says Americans should be able to make their own choices.
“It’s not an issue that I am going to spend a lot of time on,” he said.
Moore also described himself as a strong supporter of gun rights before turning his attention to McClintock, who lives outside the district in Elk Grove and, despite an earlier pledge, receives a government-sponsored retirement.
“Legally you don’t have to live in the district that you represent. Legally he can take that pension. He bought it,” Moore said.
“But the issue is the integrity piece. Don’t say you’re going to move to the district and then don’t follow through on that commitment. And, same with the pension. Don’t say you’re not going to take the pension and then renege on that.”
Call Christopher Cadelago, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @ccadelago.