Ford to Host Event for Candidate

Former President Gerald Ford will host a fund-raising barbecue dinner tonight for Brooks Firestone, a candidate for the 35th Assembly District seat that includes portions of western Ventura County.

"I am delighted to give Brooks a hand," Ford said in a statement. "He's a straight-talker and he's dedicated to fighting crime."

Firestone, who is uncontested in the Republican primary in June, said he was honored by Ford's endorsement. He said the two are longtime friends.

The fund-raising event will be held on the grounds of the Firestone winery in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Firestone, who ran unsuccessfully for the Assembly in 1982, will face the winner of the Democratic primary in November. Competing for the Democratic nomination are Bob Ream, a former aide to state Sen. Gary Hart (D-Santa Barbara), and Mindy Lorenz, an art history instructor at Cal State Northridge.

The 35th Assembly District encompasses Ventura, Santa Paula, Ojai and most of Santa Barbara County. The seat is now held by Assemblyman Jack O'Connell (D-Carpinteria), who is running for Hart's seat in the state Senate.

For information on the Firestone fund-raiser, call 965-1994.

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