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Ventura County Official Announces Bid in New California District

Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett (D) announced on Wednesday that he will seek California’s new 26th district seat.

“I am running for Congress because Ventura County residents deserve common sense leadership that is not locked into rigid ideology at the expense of the common good,” Bennett said in a statement. “I have demonstrated that leadership for Ventura County residents here at the county level for 10 years. We have made major improvements in the fiscal health of Ventura County.”

The Ventura-based district race is not expected to feature a current incumbent next year, as Rep. Elton Gallegly (R) was drawn into the neighboring 25th district and has yet to say where or whether he will run.

No Republicans have announced for the seat yet, but two other Democrats have: Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock and former professional tennis player David Cruz Thayne.

The 26th is a swing district that national Democrats are targeting. Democrats hold a 6-point voter registration advantage, and President Barack Obama won it by 17 points in 2008.

Bennett has been a county supervisor since 2000 and previously served four years on the Ventura City Council. He also held several teaching and administration positions at a high school for 20 years.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Bennett is strongly linked to environmental issues and that he made his Wednesday announcement at the Ventura headquarters of Patagonia, an outdoor apparel and gear company.

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