Police groups weigh in for Hodge

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Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner Jason Hodge received a boost today in his upstart campaign against former Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara in the 19th Senate District campaign.

The two Democrats will be seeking to be one of the top two finishers in the June 12 primary, the first that will be conducted under the new state system in which all voters can voter for candidates of any party. Under the new system, the primary will not select party nominees, and it is possible that both top finishers could be of the same party.

The 19th district includes all of western Ventura County and southern Santa Barbara County.

Hodge announced the endorsement of the Police Officers Research Association of California, the statewide umbrella organization of police officers' unions around the state. He had already received the backing of the Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs Association. Those endorsements give Hodge an impressive claim on law enforcement support in the upcoming support -- although the development was not unexpected, given that Hodge, a Ventura County firefighter, is a member of the fraternity of public safety employees.

"After years of working side by side with our police and sheriffs, I know the strength of law enforcement having my back," Hodge said in a press release announcing the PORAC endorsement.

PORAC has an independent expediture committee which spent more than $1.3 million in the 2010 election cycle. The committee had $100,000 in the bank at the end of June.

Jackson, meanwhile, has put together an impressive list of individual endorsers in both Santa Barbara County and in Hodge's home turf of Ventura County. Among the Ventura County elected officials who have signed on in support of Jackson are Oxnard council members Carmen Ramirez and Irene Pinkard; Ventura council members Mike Tracy and Brian Brennan; and Ventura Unified School Board members Debbie Golden, Velma Lomax, Barbara Fitzgerald and Mary Haffner.

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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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