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Strickland kicks off campaign for state Senate

Posted: March 13, 2008 1:04 a.m.
Updated: May 14, 2008 5:03 a.m.
A battle between state Democrats and Republicans is brewing in the Santa Clarita Valley as Tony Strickland officially announced his candidacy for the state Senate on Wednesday morning.

About two dozen supporters enjoyed breakfast on Strickland's tab at Mimi's Cafe in Valencia as he outlined the importance of his campaign.

Strickland, a Republican, said he needs to win the open seat to prevent a Democratic supermajority in the senate.

Officials from both parties have targeted the 19th Senate District, currently held by Sen. Tom McClintock, as a swing seat.

A Democratic victory may give the party a large enough of a majority in the state senate to override vetoes strictly on party lines. The 19th District includes portions of the Santa Clarita Valley, as well as Thousand Oaks, Ventura and Santa Barbara. McClintock, R-Thousand Oaks, will be termed out of his office in January 2009.

"If I lose this election, the Democrats will have a two-thirds majority and there is no need for them to reach across party lines," Strickland told supporters. "They will control the state and override any of (Gov. Arnold) Schwarzenegger's vetoes."

The Republican candidate, who is running unopposed for the party's nomination in the June 2 state primary election, distanced himself from the potential Democratic nominee, Hannah Beth Jackson.

"We could not be farther apart," Strickland said of Jackson, the candidate from Santa Barbara who is also running unopposed for the Democratic nomination. "Her solution is to just throw more money at problems. Yet we need the right kind of leadership to provide fiscal responsibility. I am that person who can provide that leadership."

Strickland, previously a chief of staff for McClintock, added that the Democratic majority in Sacramento was responsible for the state's large deficit, estimated to be as high as $17 billion.

"California does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem," he added. "Why else do we have a $17 billion deficit."

Yet he said that if he is elected to office, he will help bring the deficit down and prioritize spending, not increase taxes.

"We do not need to raise taxes," Strickland said. "We need to stop waste in the system."


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