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Lois Capps Beats Abel Maldonado To Keep Blue Seat In Congress

Nandini Ruparel |
November 7, 2012 | 12:41 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter




Democrat Lois Capps kept her seat in Congress, winning 55 percent of the vote as she overcame polls that showed she was extremely vulnerable.

The race for the representation of California's 24th district between Democratic incumbent Capps and her Republican opponent Abel Maldonado tightened within the last few weeks, with both parties attacking the other on platform, voting records and financial issues.

The Democratic demographic in the district is greater than the Republican one by less than three percentage points, and more than 70,000 unaffiliated voters also live in the area, making this election one that could have gone either way.

On Oct. 3, Maldonado was leading Capps 45 to 44 percent in the polls.

Maldonado's campaign focused on small business and getting jobs back to the county.

"Jobs, jobs, jobs,” Maldonado said, at a debate between him and Capps in Lompoc. “That is my number one priority — growing the economy — and if there’s a piece of legislation that creates jobs, Maldonado will be voting aye and if there’s a piece of legislation that hurts the economy, I will be voting no.”

Capps spoke to her dedication to the economy by citing her support of tax cuts for small businesses.

However, Capps also demonstrated that she intended to support the economy through alternative methods as well.

“Education is so closely tied to jobs, and college is now less affordable than it has been in years,” Capps said, at another debate hosted by University of California, Santa Barbara's Carsey-Wolf Center and The Santa Barbara Independent. “We need to make college more affordable to create more jobs for the future.”

The Maldonado camp attacked Capps for being overly loyal to her party, even when it didn't suit the voters. 

"It's time to put people before politics," Maldonado campaign manager Kurt Bardella said.

However, Maldonado had been criticized for both being unfaithful to the party and flip-flopping on issues, as evidenced by Capps "Where's Maldo" campaigning technique.

Both campaigns were also lagued with accusations of tax evasion and wrongdoing. Representative Capps had been accused of not reporting income to the IRS for years and therefore avoiding taxes. Along the same vein, Maldonado's family farm had been embroiled in a dispute with the IRS as well, which has been billed as a "legitimate tax dispute" by Bardella.



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Reach Staff Reporter Nandini Ruparel here.



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