Democrat: Jerry McNerney (Incumbent)
Republican: Dean Andal (former State Assemblyman)
The battle in this northwestern district near the California coast, where Republicans have a slight edge in registered voters, is shaping up to be one of the hottest in the nation. McNerney toppled GOP goliath Richard W. Pombo in 2006, after the then-House Resources Committee chair was attacked for questionable ethics and efforts to weaken environmental regulations. This time around McNerney will get a boost from his incumbency, but Andal has the will and the wallets of the state's Republican leaders on his side.
2004 Presidential Vote: 53.92% Bush, 45.26% Kerry-James Downie and Marti Covington/Washington