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THE 9th DISTRICT: In a swing district in the Central Valley, the 9th Congressional District, Ivy League-educated law student Ricky Gill has established himself as a newcomer to watch in the GOP. He turns 25 this month — the minimum age to serve in the U.S. House— and has snagged endorsements from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Gill has raised more than $1.1 million, about equal to the amount raised by the Democratic incumbent, Rep. Jerry McNerney. National Republicans consider Gill one of their top hopes for defeating a Democratic incumbent this year.

THE 10th DISTRICT: Five candidates are on the ballot in the narrowly divided 10th Congressional District in central California, where Republican Rep. Jeff Denham is facing challenges from former space shuttle astronaut Jose Hernandez, a Democrat, and independent Chad Condit. He is the son of former Rep. Gary Condit, who was ousted when his relationship with a Washington intern emerged after her disappearance. The district includes the San Joaquin Valley, where the elder Condit held a variety of political posts before he was defeated in 2002 amid the disappearance of former U.S. Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy. Another man eventually was convicted of Levy's murder, but Condit refused to answer questions about his relationship with her.