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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Race For California's 26th District Heats Up

Nandini Ruparel |
September 14, 2012 | 6:14 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter


(Dawn Megli/Neon Tommy)
(Dawn Megli/Neon Tommy)
In a red-hot Congressional race, two very different candidates are edging each other out of the top spot week after week for the chance to represent California's 26th district, which includes most of Ventura County and Westlake Village in Los Angeles.

The district, originally the 24th, is one of many newly drawn congressional districts that was created after the recent census. According to the Camarillo Acorn, the district now has 31 percent registered Democrats and 25 percent registered Republicans. The original district was known as a GOP base, where the previous Republican incumbent had been serving for 25 years before retiring this year. 

The primary race was especially fiery, including four Democratic candidates, one Republican candidate, and a formerly-Republican, now Independent candidate.

Tony Strickland, the Republican, garnered 44.1 percent of the vote, and the runner-up, Democratic candidate Julia Brownley, earned 26.9 percent of the vote. The two will be competing for the seat this November.

Independent Linda Parks, who came in third, and therefore became ineligible to move onto the general election, was displeased with the results.

“It took $2 million and dishonesty to capture this race, and that is, unfortunately, an accurate reflection of our political system," said Parks, in a letter to the Camarillo Acorn.

Brownley, the Democratic candidate, currently represents the 41st assembly district. At the end of July, she led the Republican candidate 48 percent to 44 percent in a poll. Her website offers information on her stance regarding immigration and veterans. 

Both candidates are for clean energy--Strickland says he was "one of three Republicans to vote for a renewable energy standard," but differ on the specifics. While Brownley has chosen to focus on clean energy as a necessary option now, Strickland looks to improve our resources for natural gas and oil while exploring clean energy options for the future.

One of Strickland's most unusual stances is that of Medicare and Social Security. His website says that he will support both programs and is not afraid to "stand up" to those who would get rid of them--even in his own party. The website also highlights the importance he places on keeping Ventura county safe. It is unsual for a candidate running for the House of Representatives to focus much of his platform on California-centric issues. 

Strickland has also been the only candidate to mention issues in the Middle East--he supports strong action against Iran and supports Israel fully. 

While both candidates encourage and support improving education in America, only Brownley’s website provides concrete examples of past experience and solutions for the future. 


Reach Staff Reporter Nandini Ruparel here.



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