Capitol Alert

Republican Jan Goldsmith shoots down congressional chatter

Then-Speaker Doris Allen, R-Cypress, right, confers with Assemblyman Jan Goldsmith, R-Poway, after holding her first session as speaker in 1995. Goldsmith was instrumental in having Republicans call off their planned assault on the new Speaker.
Then-Speaker Doris Allen, R-Cypress, right, confers with Assemblyman Jan Goldsmith, R-Poway, after holding her first session as speaker in 1995. Goldsmith was instrumental in having Republicans call off their planned assault on the new Speaker. AP Photo

Republican Jan Goldsmith, a former state assemblyman, really, really, really isn’t interested in running for Congress.

Goldsmith, the city attorney in San Diego, was mentioned as a “candidate of interest” to take on Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat whose evenly divided district has made it one of California’s perennial toss-ups.

But shortly after CQ Roll Call reported on discussions taking place among the National Republican Congressional Committee, Goldsmith’s spokesman took a pin to the trial balloon. The spokesman, Gerry Braun, said Goldsmith isn’t considering a run for Congress against Peters.

“Not thinking about it. Not interested,” Braun wrote on Twitter.

He added: “No plans to run. No plans to make plans. If nominated he will not accept. If elected he will seek a recount.”

Peters, a sophomore member, claimed the seat in a narrow victory over former Rep. Brian Bilbray in 2012 and survived a November showdown with ex-San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio. Peters is already drawing potential challengers, and is expected to remain a top target of the national GOP despite it being a presidential election year favoring Democrats.

Goldsmith, remembered at the state Capitol for his attempts to legalize ferrets as pets, dispatched Peters in the 2008 city attorney primary and then went on to win the runoff against incumbent Democrat Mike Aguirre. Goldsmith’s comparatively low-key approach helped him avoid a serious challenge when seeking a second term.

Roll Call reported that Goldsmith is scheduled to talk with Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina, the NRCC’s recruitment chairman. Asked about the upcoming conversation, Braun said it’s not on Goldsmith’s schedule.

“If Hudson calls,” he wrote, “Jan will tell him: ‘Thanks, but no thanks. No way. That's not happening.’”

Call Christopher Cadelago, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @ccadelago.

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