Undaunted by the odds

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Camarillo is planted squarely in the middle of Ventura County's two most Republican-stacked political districts in Ventura County, but you'd have never known it tonight at a Democratic candidates' forum at which a pair of candidates for each contest made their cases why they should be the ones their party picks to run uphill in November.

There have been years in the not-too-distant past when Democrats had to essentially beg someone to run for Congress or the Legislature in Camarillo-centered districts. No longer.

This spring, Mary Pallant and Jill Martinez are vying for the right to face 11-term Congressman Elton Gallegly. And David Hare and Ferial Masry each want the opportunity to challenge two-term incumbent Assemblywoman Audra Strickland.

None appeared to be a masochist.

They talked boldly about running to win and realistically about what it would take; Martinez said a viable campaign against Gallegly would cost $1.6 million and Masry said it would take $1 million to take down Strickland.

Who knows where they'd raise that kind of dough, but gone are the days when Democratic candidates in these districts talked wistfully about winning with shoe leather and word-of-mouth advertising.

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95 percent accurate
Over the last 25 presidential elections, Ventura County voters have backed the winner 24 times, or over 95 percent of the time. It is one of only a handful of counties in the nation that has been such a predictable bellwether.
about Timm Herdt
Timm Herdt
The Ventura County Star's Sacramento Bureau Chief Timm Herdt on state issues and politics from Sacramento to Ventura County. He can be contacted at therdt@vcstar.com