Life after politics for O'Connell

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Former state superintendent of public instruction and longtime Ventura County lawmaker Jack O'Connell seems to be settling into life after politics. I visited him yesterday in his Sacramento office at School Innovations & Advocacy, the national education consulting firm where he serves as "chief education officer."

Earlier this year he also joined the board of directors of ECMC, a Minneapolis-based guarantor of student loans that insures a $35 billion loan portfolio.

I asked him whether he missed politics after having served nearly 30 years as an elected official in Sacramento. He said that his predecessor as superintendent, Delaine Eastin, who was also a former legislator, best summed up his feelings when she was asked the same question: "I miss some of the animals, but I don't miss the zoo."

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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
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