Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett is the most recent Democrat to announce they are running for the new Ventura County based seat in the House of Representatives.
So far no Republicans have announced they are running. Rep. Elton Gallegly hasn't announced if he is retiring or if he runs what district he will run in. Many people assumed he will run in the Ventura County based district. But with his recent letter to the editor in a Santa Clarita newspaper maybe he is planning to run against Republican Buck McKeon. I don't think he will run at all. But I am just guessing.
Steve Bennett is expected to be a competitive candidate. He has years of experience in elected office and running for office. He has connections with environmental activists because of his leadership with SOAR. Local Democrats haven't had a candidate with substantial elected office experience running for Congress, now they have multiple strong candidates.
This is a great chance for Democrats to win another seat in the House of Representatives and their chances just increased by getting another strong candidate.
Click on continue reading for Steve Bennett's campaign announcement.
Dear friends and neighbors:
I made a big decision on Wednesday, and I'd like to share with you why.
I decided to run for Congress in the newly-drawn 26th District because Ventura County residents deserve common sense leadership that is not locked into rigid ideology at the expense of the common good.
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I've demonstrated that leadership for Ventura County residents here at the local level as a Supervisor and as a City Councilmember. Now I want to bring a dose of that common sense to the way decisions are made in Washington, D.C. - where Congress has drifted further and further out of touch with us, and the middle-class families of our nation.
We've significantly improved the fiscal health of Ventura County, and had the courage to make tough decisions that were not politically popular but that are paying off now. When I took office ten years ago, our reserves stood at zero and today they are at 10.2% of our budget.
At the same time, I'm proud of my leadership role in changing the way local government operates and focuses on the quality of our community.
I steadily fought to keep SOAR an effective law against urban sprawl including recently turning back an attempt to convert 4,000 acres of open space into 10-acre mini-mansions.
I wrote Ventura County's strict campaign finance reform law that has ended the practice of buying influence with unlimited campaign contributions.
I worked to restore a gang program to the Sheriff's budget and dramatically improved our competitiveness in attracting quality candidates to the Sheriff's department.
And I introduced many strong environmental policies including the call for a Ventura County Climate Change Action Plan, a hybrid car policy, and higher energy efficiencies for larger homes.
Getting our economy back on track should be the number one priority of all national leaders. Politicians who block job creation policies in order to advance a narrow electoral agenda are not the kind of leaders that Ventura County needs. With an Honors Degree in Economics from Brown University, twenty years of teaching economics and ten years of bringing fiscal order to the County, I think I have something to say about our economy. The role of deficits, interest rates and monetary policy will not be new topics to me.
In Congress, you can also count on me to fight for the middle class residents in Ventura County who are suffering from Congressional leadership that is more focused on serving the interests of large donors than the needs of citizens. I will work for good jobs, quality affordable health care, infrastructure that makes our country more productive and smart investments in education that will make us more competitive internationally.
This newly drawn district is one of the most competitive in the country, and all the pundits are already watching the campaign. Roll Call, the highly-regarded publication that analyzes national politics, wrote that "the 26th is a swing district that national Democrats are targeting. Democrats hold a 6-point voter registration advantage, and President Barack Obama won it by 17 points in 2008." The Washington, D.C. lobbyists and special interests will certainly circle their wagons and spend millions to try and hold onto this seat.
I've already earned the support of more than 170 local elected and community leaders from Ventura County. I would be honored to have your support, too. Please visit my website, http://bennett4congress2012.com, to add your name to my list of supporters. And with only a few weeks before the upcoming fundraising report deadline, I would greatly appreciate your contribution. Can I count on you to contribute to my campaign TODAY?
I look forward to working with you to take our efforts to the next level - and change our great country for the better.
Thank you in advance for your support,
P.S. With only a few weeks before the next filing deadline, I sure could use your support TODAY. Please contribute today by clicking here. https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/bennettforcongress
Great catch by Ventura Talk of the letter to the editor from Gallegly to a newspaper not in his district.