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Citrus Heights councilman announces bid for U.S. Congress

Bret Daniels
File photo, Bret Daniels speaks during a 2016 candidate forum. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
Citrus Heights Councilman Bret Daniels, an outspoken Republican, announced Wednesday that he will be running for U.S. House of Representatives, seeking the seat currently held by Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove).

“Our children and grandchildren deserve better leadership that does not ignore how decisions today will affect their lives in the future, that does not ignore our God-given and Constitutionally protected rights, that does not ignore law and order and the rights of victims and society,” Daniels wrote in a statement announcing his bid for Congress on his personal Facebook page. He also called for leadership “that does not ignore the suffering of homeless veterans and others while opening the border to outsiders that are flooding into our country uncontrolled.”

Daniels said his announcement coincided with St. Patrick’s Day — a day he said his Irish grandfather called “the greatest of all holidays.” He also posted a list of several hundred people who he said “have already pledged to support our effort.”

Among supporters listed are Java Cherry Coffee Shop owner Louise Hansen Cordray as well as Randy and Karen Pastor, owners of Pastor’s Valero Gas Station in Citrus Heights. Newly elected Citrus Heights Councilman Tim Shaefer’s name also appears on the list, among about 20 veterans.

Daniels, 60, has had a lengthy history in local politics. He initially served on the Citrus Heights City Council from 1999-2005 and later ran for various other campaigns for public office, including two attempts for City Council in 2008 and 2012 and multiple runs for Sacramento County Sheriff.

In 2016, Daniels won a seat back on the Citrus Heights City Council, after running a campaign criticizing the city’s $21 million new City Hall purchase and promising to fight tax increases. He has often been a lone “no” vote on fiscal-related matters and was censured by his fellow council members in 2018 over stalking allegations that he called “without merit.”

Daniels was subsequently elected to another four-year term on the council in 2020, where he has been joined by Councilman Schaefer in several split votes — including opposing the nomination of Steve Miller as mayor and opposing the city manager’s pick for who would replace the outgoing assistant city manager.

The 7th Congressional District seat which Daniels is seeking has been held by Ami Bera since 2013. The district is made up of more than 700,000 residents and currently extends from Elk Grove to Citrus Heights, including Rancho Cordova and Folsom.

The district has had some close races over the past decade, with Bera narrowly defeating challenger Doug Ose by less than 1% in 2014, followed in 2016 with a 2% margin of victory over challenger Scott Jones. Most recently, Bera defeated challenger Buzz Patterson in 2020 with over 56% of the vote.

However, with once-in-a-decade redistricting coming before the 2022 election, the political makeup of the district could change. District boundaries will be redrawn using the latest population data from the 2020 Census.

In California, redistricting is handled by the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. More information about redistricting and opportunities for public input is available on the commission’s website at

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