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The Political Landscape:

DeVore has ties to Knievel

Assemblyman’s mom went to school with deceased daredevil, whom DeVore used to imitate as a kid.

December 06, 2007|By Brianna Bailey

Following the theory of six degrees of separation, everybody knows somebody who knows somebody else.

Assemblyman Chuck DeVore has ties to recently deceased daredevil Evel Knievel. DeVore’s mother knew Knievel when they were both children growing up in Butte, Mont.

“I think she may have had a bit of a crush on him,” DeVore said.

Mama DeVore would watch Knievel attempt death-defying stunts on his bicycle in front of her house as a child, according to her son. The bicycle was later replaced with a motorcycle.

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Knievel may have passed on to that great motorcycle ramp in the sky, but DeVore still has fond memories of imitating the great stuntman as a child.

DeVore earned a “heap of skinned knees” from imitating Knievel’s stunts on a bicycle wearing his Johnny Unitas-style Baltimore Colts helmet, he said. Perhaps these early scrapes and bruises persuaded DeVore to drop his daredevil aspirations for the perils of politics.

“It’s a wonder I didn’t break my neck,” DeVore said.

Young DeVore also was an avid model rocket builder, he said. He once built a replica of the rocket Knievel used in his ill-fated Snake River Canyon jump.

“Just like the jump, it didn’t work too well,” DeVore said.

WHO’S ENDORSING WHOM?

With the California Primary looming on Feb. 5, local politicos are lining up their political chips and endorsing candidates for their party’s nomination.

Whether or not their influence will have any impact on the ultimate recipient of California’s whopping 55 electoral votes is, of course, yet to be seen.

Rep. John Campbell, for example, has endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, citing his ability to solve large-scale problems in a scientific, nonpartisan way.

“I think he is the smartest, most accomplished and most capable individual running for president,” he said. “We have a lot of problems to be solved [and many] don’t necessarily have ideological solutions.

“I think he has proven himself, both as the governor of Massachusetts and a business leader.”

Assemblyman Van Tran, on the other hand, said he supported Arizona Sen. John McCain, citing the senator’s decades of service to the country — both as a politician and soldier — that he contends makes him more qualified than any candidate on either side of the aisle.

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