With only two names on the June primary ballot, voters in the mountainous 4th Congressional District are virtually certain to have those same two names to consider in the general election in November.
Tom McClintock, 55
Political experience: US Representative 2009-present; state senator 2000-2008; state assemblyman 1996-2000, 1982-1992
Education: Bachelor's in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation: United States representative
Personal: He and his wife, Lori, have two children
Quote: "Government cannot create jobs, because government cannot create wealth. ... But it can create conditions in which jobs either flourish or wither."
Jack Uppal, 57
Political experience: None
Education: Doctorate in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a bachelor's in chemistry from State University of New York, Albany
Occupation: Semiconductor executive and engineer
Personal: Married to Kathryn Uppal. They both have children from previous marriages.
Quote: "We put people in Congress to come to agreements and get things done, and none of that happened last year. We can't have extremists holding up the country for either a political gain or to support an extreme ideology."
The lack of competition is likely because incumbent Republican Tom McClintock of Rocklin would appear to have a strong chance of keeping his seat.
Not only does the newly drawn 4th District have a 16-point Republican registration advantage (46 percent Republican to 30 percent Democrat), but McClintock is a longtime lawmaker who has raised more than $700,000 in donations for this race, more than 50 times the amount raised by Democratic rival Jack Uppal, according to the most recent Federal Elections Commission statements.
Uppal, a tech industry executive from Lincoln, nevertheless, is gamely throwing himself into the race and says he has a chance to win.
"The numbers would suggest there's a lot of disgruntled people in this district," Uppal said. "They may be registered Republican, but they are not enamored of the more extreme policies of McClintock. I am a moderate Democrat."
The numbers Uppal refers to include the results of the 2008 election, in which Democrat Charlie Brown came within 1,800 votes, or .6 of a percent, of McClintock.
That year, the 4th Congressional District had different boundaries but a similar 14-point Republican registration advantage.
Still, McClintock was running for the first time there in 2008. When he ran for a second term in 2010, he defeated a different Democratic rival, Clint Curtis, by a wide margin of 61.3 percent to 31.5 percent.
McClintock is an unabashed conservative, constitutionalist, and a member of the Tea Party Caucus.
He agrees that Congress currently does not function well, but he doesn't pin the blame on partisan differences.
"It is a question over basic public policy and the process by which public policy is developed," McClintock said. He said constitutional checks - in particular Congress - are no longer able to restrain the growth of government.
"The spending lobby has gotten out of control," McClintock said.
Uppal has a different take on that. From his perspective, it appears McClintock opposes bringing federal dollars back home to benefit the district.
"The people in our district are paying quite a bit in taxes, federal taxes, and we are not really getting much back in those taxes," Uppal said.
McClintock says that is a distortion. "That is not true. I have fought very hard for projects in the district."
What McClintock says he does oppose is the use of earmarks, "closed door additions to bills that depend upon the political clout of the congressman."
That kind of spending escapes scrutiny and was "corrupting the Congress," McClintock said.
McClintock, who serves on the Natural Resources Committee, says excessive government regulation is choking off economically beneficial timber, mining and grazing on public lands. That's a huge issue in the 4th District, where mill closures have left many communities economically depressed.
Uppal said environmental rules are needed but that he knows they are burdensome. "The problem is that our review process for projects, whether it be a road project or a building project, tend to be very, very long and tedious."
Uppal said he wants to streamline regulations that slow projects on public lands.