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Jimmy Panetta Announces Run for Congress

Monterey County Deputy District Attorney Jimmy Panetta has become the first Democrat to enter the race for retiring Congressman Sam Farr’s seat.

Panetta made the announcement Tuesday in front of Monterey’s historic Custom House.  He’s the youngest son of former US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

With his wife Carrie and his parents seated close by, the 45-year-old Panetta outlined his credentials: a Naval Officer who received a bronze star in Afghanistan, a member of several community boards and a leader of the effort to establish a Veteran’s Cemetery on the former Fort Ord.  

This would, however, be his first elective office.

His candidacy comes just five days after Congressman Sam Farr announced his retirement. Farr was elected to the seat in 1993 after Panetta’s father Leon left it to become Budget Director for Bill Clinton.

In his announcement Tuesday, Jimmy Panetta listed the priorities he said he would fight for in Congress.

“For comprehensive immigration reform, for a strong economy that can provide jobs and the opportunity to give all working families a better life.  I will fight for a disciplined budget with tax fairness that still protects the critical safety net programs. I will fight for clean energy that protects both our lives and our planet,” said Panetta.

It is the first time in more than 20 years that the seat has not had an incumbent running, so it could become a crowded primary.

Right now, the other candidate is Republican Pacific Grove City Councilwoman Casey Lucius.

The 20th Congressional District covers Monterey and San Benito Counties and the city of Santa Cruz.

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