Democrats to host GOP candidates in House race to succeed McKeon
In another manifestation of how the political landscape is changing under the state’s top-two election system, a Democratic club in the Antelope Valley is scheduled to host two Republican congressional candidates at its forum early next month.
The Democratic Club of the High Desert said the GOP candidates, state Sen. Stephen Knight of Palmdale and former state legislator Tony Strickland of Simi Valley, have agreed to appear at the Aug. 1 forum. They are competing to succeed retiring Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita) in the Nov. 4 election.
Strickland and Knight finished first and second, respectively, in the June 3 primary. Under the state’s relatively new system, all the candidates for a given office appear on a single ballot and only the top two finishers, regardless of any party affiliation, can advance to the fall general election.
The rules left district Democrats without a candidate this fall, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be interested in the election, said club President Johnathon Ervin.
“One of these two candidates will represent our district in Washington, D.C.,” Ervin said in a statement announcing the forum, “and all Antelope Valley residents--especially Democrats--should be engaged in the selection of our new representative.”
The club’s bylaws prohibit it from endorsing candidates of another party, Ervin noted, but he added that Democrats nonetheless “deserve to know where the candidates stand on the issues, so that we may make an informed decision.”
The event is free of charge and open to the public.
The one-hour debate is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the offices of the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local 725, at 39047 N. 10th St. East, Palmdale.
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