Given Simi Valley's enduring reputation for being the home of interesting politics, it was inevitable that when the city got placed in new Assembly district detached from the rest of Ventura County, the race would be far from boring.
As the National Journal reports today , the contest in the new 38th District between Republicans Scott Wilk, a former aide to Rep. Buck McKeon, and Patricia McKeon, the congressman's wife, has the potential to get both personal and nasty.
In addition, a serious Democratic candidate has emerged -- a rarity in districts such as this, in which Republicans hold a strong voter-registration advantage. He is Edward Headington, , owner of a public relations firm in Granada Hills and a serious student of public policy who has worked for such varied political figures as former Republican Mayor Richard Riordan of Los Angeles and former San Fernando Valley Assemblyman Scott Wildman.
I had a visit from Headington yesterday in Sacramento, and he comes across as a conservative Democratic, befitting someone who has worked as public affairs manager for the National Small Business Association and lists as his top priorities "job creation, workforce education, budget reform and public safety."
Headington recognizes that the campaign will be a tough road for a Democrat, but with a potentially ugly intraparty battle between Wilk and Patricia McKeon developing, things could get interesting. The district is roughly split into three distinct sections: Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, and the San Fernando Valley. Wilk and McKeon are from Santa Clarita, and Headington hails from the Valley and is a board member of the Granada Hills North Neighborhood Council. Given that geography, all the candidates figure Simi Valley is up for grabs.