Capitol Alert

Leon Panetta’s son Jimmy will run for dad’s former congressional seat

Jimmy Panetta, top, seen in 2011, hopes to win the congressional seat once held by his father, Leon Panetta, foreground.
Jimmy Panetta, top, seen in 2011, hopes to win the congressional seat once held by his father, Leon Panetta, foreground. AP file

Jimmy Panetta, the son of former congressman and D.C. Mr. Fix-it Leon Panetta, announced his candidacy Tuesday to succeed Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel.

Panetta, a Monterey County prosecutor, becomes the first Democrat to announce he will run for the open seat, which also could attract past or current members of the California Legislature.

Saying he would bring “young energy and fresh ideas” to Congress, Panetta asked a crowd of well-wishers at a campaign kickoff Tuesday “to give me the chance to fight for you.”

A beaming Leon Panetta and his wife, Sylvia, looked on, with the family dog Bravo pacing around at the end of a leash held by Leon Panetta.

Other Democrats mentioned as possible entrants in the field include Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, state Sen. Bill Monning, D-Carmel, and Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley. Anna Caballero, a former Salinas lawmaker who recently left a post in the Brown administration, is another possibility.

A Republican, Pacific Grove City Councilwoman Casey Lucius, declared her candidacy earlier this year.

The 20th includes all of Monterey and San Benito counties, and parts of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.

Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by more than 94,000 in the district.

Leon Panetta represented the area from 1977 until 1993, when he joined Bill Clinton’s White House. He later served as the Central Intelligence Agency director and secretary of defense.

Jim Miller

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