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Assemblyman to run for Congress in Ventura; move could impact local race

Posted: November 26, 2013 5:57 p.m.
Updated: November 26, 2013 5:57 p.m.

SANTA CLARITA - State Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, has announced he plans to run for a congressional seat in Ventura County in 2014, a move that could create a ripple effect on the race to represent the Santa Clarita Valley in Congress, as well.

Gorell, who was elected to the state Legislature in 2010, officially announced his candidacy for the 26th Congressional District earlier this week.

“We need real leadership, not political posturing, to fix our broken Congress,” Gorell said in a news release. “The challenges facing both this community and America are too critical to leave to anyone who retreats into the trenches of party politics or lacks the vision, passion and leadership to be a champion for people of the 26th Congressional District.”

Gorell has already secured a number of endorsements, including those of Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, and former state Sen. Tony Strickland, according to the news release.

Strickland, a Republican, ran in the 26th district in 2012, losing to now-incumbent Democrat Julia Brownley. In recent months, he had filed paperwork to run against her again in 2014.

But there have been consistent rumblings indicating Strickland plans instead to run in the 25th Congressional District, which covers the Santa Clarita Valley, should McKeon not seek re-election in 2014.

McKeon has denied reports he plans to retire. Meantime, a collection of Democratic candidates, including 2012 Democratic nominee for the seat Lee Rogers, have said they will run for the seat.

Should Strickland declare for the 25th District, he will have access to a sizable campaign war chest. As of Sept. 30, the end of the most recent filing period, Strickland’s campaign had collected around $460,000 in total receipts and around $400,000 in cash on hand, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Strickland did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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