Brownley still on sidelines for congressional race

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With Supervisor Steve Bennett still not tipping his hand on whether he intends to run as a Democrat in the new 26th Congressional District, Assemblywoman Julia Brownley told me yesterday she is still considering a potential candidacy.

Two Democrats -- Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock and Westlake Village businessman and tennis instructor David Cruz Thayne -- have already announced their intention to run, but some party leaders are hoping that a candidate with both a higher profile and proven fund-raising ability will step forward. For the moment, that hope is focused on Bennett.

Brownley indicated that if Bennett opts out, she is still considering the race. Although she lives outside the district, in Santa Monica, her current Assembly district includes significant portions of the new congressional district, including Westlake Village, Port Hueneme and about half of Oxnard.

Bennett's indecision is delaying the day when he or another candidate, perhaps Brownley, can begin raising money and organizing a campaign. That is particularly important because of the possibility that Rep. Elton Gallegly, who has more than $800,000 in his campaign account, will run as a Republican in what, on paper, seems to be an ultra-competitive district in which either party's candidate could win.

Meanwhile, we'll find out next week how Pollock and Thayne have fared in their early fundraising. The quarterly reports are due on Monday. Thayne has given the appearance of some fundraising success, having hired top Democratic strategist Garry South to manage his campaign and also brought on a leading Democratic polling firm, Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates.

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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
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