State GOP chairman backs Tony Strickland for Congress


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The head of the California Republican Party is backing state Sen. Tony Strickland of Moorpark in a crowded race for an open congressional seat in Ventura County.

State party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro’s endorsement comes not long after Strickland jumped into the race for the 26th Congressional District after Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley) announced that he would retire.


Last year’s redrawing of the state’s political maps put Gallegly’s home into the same district as that of Rep. Howard P. ‘Buck’ McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) and he decided not to challenge McKeon and opted not to run in the open district, where Democrats hold a slight registration edge.

That edge didn’t dissuade Strickland, who is known as a hard campaigner and strong fundraiser who has won several races in the area.

Others in the contest include another Republican, Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, and several Democrats, including Supervisor Steve Bennett, Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock, businessman David Cruz Thayne, Oxnard Harbor District Commission President Jess Herrera and retired longshoreman Zeke Ruelas.

Pundits expect both parties to fight hard for this seat.


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--Jean Merl