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Political Notebook: Out West Coast candidates face tough House races

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Of the three gay men and one lesbian seen as the most viable non-incumbent candidates vying for U.S. House seats in the West Coast, all but one are facing tough roads to victory this year.

Two are running in districts political handicappers see as favoring their Republican opponents, with a third race deemed a toss up.Facing the best odds is gay Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.

He is seeking the new, open 42nd Congressional District along the coast of Los Angeles County. It is heavily Democratic, and Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) is seen as the other leading candidate among the eight people in next week's June 7 primary race.Garcia has drawn broad support for his race, winning the endorsement in May of the Los Angeles Times.

Should he be elected to Congress, Garcia would double gay representation from the Golden State, as gay California Congressmember Mark Takano (D-Riverside) is expected to easily win reelection this year.Lesbian former Santa Clara City Councilmember Jamie McLeod-Skinner could triple the number of LGBTQ representatives in the House from the three-state West Coast region if she wins Oregon's open, newly drawn 5th Congressional District.

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