Democratic Rep. Ami Bera versus Republican Doug Ose, a former congressman. Bera won this district by just 2 percentage points in 2012.

Big money from outside interest groups are flowing into this race, making it clear the district is up for grabs, just as it was two years ago.

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Among the groups helping Ose with television ads are the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, $600,000; Karl-Rove backed CrossRoads GPS, $900,000; and the American Action Network, $750,000. The outside spending should reduce the substantial fundraising advantage Bera enjoyed after the June primary. On the Democratic side, the House Majority PAC has said it has reserved nearly $1 million worth of air time.

CAMPAIGN 2014

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The campaign arms for House Republicans and House Democrats also have reserved big ad buys.

Bera is trying to distance himself from Washington. He’s emphasizing that he gave up his pay during the government shutdown last fall and has reimbursed the treasury for the nearly $5,000 he accrued in pension benefits last year.

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Ose served three terms in Congress before declining to seek re-election in 2004. He’s calling for tax cuts and repeal of the health insurance law that Democrats pushed through in President Barack Obama’s first term.