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Ventura County congressional seat sees face off between Strickland, Brownley

November 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Tony Strickland and Julia Brownley are both locked in a tight battle for a newly redrawn congressional seat in Ventura County. One of the two will replace Elton Gallegly, who is retiring after almost 25 years in Congress.

"I have a record of working across the aisle," said Strickland.

As a Republican in the state legislature, Strickland represented the area for the past 10 years.

"My opponent has shown that she's out of step with the people of Ventura County," Strickland said. "Ventura County is a middle of the road community."

But Brownley thinks Strickland has got her all wrong.

"I love Ventura County," said Brownley. "And I want to fight for the middle class of Ventura County, making sure economic engine gets back on on all cylinders, people get employed."

Brownley is a democratic state assembly woman who represents Oak Park and much of Oxnard. She lived in Santa Monica for more than three decades, but recently moved to Ventura County in order to run for the congressional seat.

"My candidacy is about growing the middle class," Brownley said. "His position on that is he wants to protect tax cuts for millionaires -- that's a fundamental difference."

The congressional district in Ventura County has historically been Republican ground. But newly redrawn boundaries mean that could change.

The 26th Congressional District was redrawn last year, and now it includes heavily democratic Oxnard. But the district no longer includes Simi Valley, which traditionally has supported Republican candidates.

"My opponent has never lived a day in her life in Ventura County," said Strickland. "I think it's very tough for someone to represent a community and they've never lived in the community. My neighbors' concerns are the same concerns I have. If we had a race in Santa Monica I think she'd be a better fit for Santa Monica."

But Brownley is paying no mind to Strickland. Instead, she is feeding off the enthusiasm of voters.

"The people in Ventura County are very excited about this race," she said. "For the first time in 26 years we have an opportunity to have a different kind or representation, and my campaign is a campaign filled with lots of heart and soul and people are working really hard, and I think we have a great chance of winning."

Strickland says he wants to focus on bringing jobs to Ventura County. Browley says she will focus on jobs and also education.

Voters will make their choice on Nov. 6.


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