Attorney Michael Case, a Democrat and president-elect of the Ventura County Bar Assn., will challenge Republican Rep. Elton Gallegly next year, Case said Thursday.
Case, a 52-year-old political neophyte, said he will formally announce his run for Congress at a press conference next week.
"I don't think Elton's views are any longer in sync with the majority in this county," said Case, a founding partner of Ventura's largest law firm. "Elton is a conservative whose positions are right of the voters."
Gallegly, 55, a onetime real estate broker and former Simi Valley mayor, hasn't really been tested since 1992, when Anita Perez Ferguson spent $750,000 but still lost, 54% to 42%.
Although Democrats have a slight edge in voter registration, Gallegly has swept away all challengers since he overwhelmed Bob Hope's son, Tony Hope, who had both money and name recognition, by 16 percentage points in the Republican primary in 1986.
"You don't get reelected six times unless you do things right," Gallegly said. "I do what I promise to do. And my voting record shows I am a moderate conservative. I have dealt with many social issues more moderately than some of my colleagues."