Reporting Steve Large
MODESTO (CBS13) – The son of a former California congressman wants to run for office himself in the same area his father served, bringing a familiar and controversial name in the San Joaquijn Valley back into the political spotlight.
Chad Condit is running for Congress. It was his father, Congressman Gary Condit, who refused to answer investigators’ questions in the infamous disappearance of Chandra Levy a decade ago. Gary Condit was eventually cleared as a suspect and another man was convicted of her murder, but he lost his re-election bid two years later and is now living in Arizona.
This is Chad Condit’s first-ever run for political office. He filed his paperwork in a Modesto on Friday to run for a seat in the House of Representatives as an independent in California’s redrawn 10th Congressional district. CBS13 asked him if being a Condit is going to be an asset or a liability to his campaign.
“I am a Condit, and I’m not going to run from the fact my name is Chad Condit,” he said.
In his first official day as a Congressional candidate, Chad Condit focused his comments on campaigning as an independent.
“The number one issue is you have got to vote your district. Be about your district,” he said.
Chad tried to stay away from questions about his father’s role in the investigation about the disappearance of Chandra Levy, an intern who disappeared in 2001. Gary Condit eventually admitted to having an affair with her.
“Where does that narrative play out in this campaign for you?” CBS13 asked him.
“It doesn’t,” he said. “It was a long time ago.”
The public spotlight on Gary Condit and his family was intense. Chad resigned from his position on Gov. Gray Davis’ staff when Davis called Gary Condit’s conduct “disheartening.”
“I have no regrets with what I did,” Chad said Friday. “I would do it again. It’s what I felt was the right thing to do, and I’ll always do what i think is right.”
Now the son is seeking the political spotlight, seeking to serve the same constituents his father did. He said he won’t shy away from seeking his father’s guidance.
“My dad’s my dad and my friend, and whether you like Gary Condit or not, he knows the issues of the Central Valley better than anybody,” Chad said. “He did for 30 years, so I’d be silly not to seek his guidance in some of the issues.
Gary Condit’s father, Chad’s grandfather, is an 84-year-old minister in Modesto. He says the family did a lot of praying about the decision whether to enter the political spotlight again.
Apparently, the answer came back yes.