John Dennis, the California Republican who has attempted to unseat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the two previous elections, is hoping the third time's a charm.
On Wednesday, Dennis announced he will challenge Pelosi in her reelection bid this fall. Pelosi represents California's 12th District, which encompasses most of the city of San Francisco.
In a statement announcing his candidacy, Dennis cited the National Security Agency's surveillance programs and the Affordable Care Act among his motivations for attempting to unseat Pelosi again.
“I understand the difficulty of taking on an entrenched politician, but Pelosi’s continued support for the NSA's surveillance of Americans, for keeping troops in Afghanistan, for ignoring the federal debt, and for Obamacare, with all its failures, have disenchanted San Francisco voters," Dennis said. "A credible opponent to Pelosi with my positions and established name ID can tap into that disenchantment.”
Last month, two of Pelosi's closest allies in the House -- Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and George Miller (D-Calif.) -- announced that they will retire at the end of this congressional session, sparking speculation that Pelosi would depart as well. However, the Minority Leader quickly threw cold water on the idea.
"I'm running. I've already started the paperwork process," she said. "My work is not finished."
Dennis, a San Francisco-based businessman, remains a longshot for the seat, which Pelosi won in 2012 with 85.1 percent of the vote. However, his libertarian take on certain issues, including marijuana policy, civil liberties and ending the war in Afghanistan, has endeared him to some voters in the liberal stronghold, despite his Republican credentials.
He also has a history of unconventional campaign ads. In 2012, Dennis rolled out "Night of the Living Pelosi," an attack spot depicting Pelosi as the leader of a pack of zombies. And in 2010, he took on Pelosi as the "Wicked Witch of the West" in an ad based on "The Wizard of Oz."
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