Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett dropped out of the race for California's new 26th district, leaving a gaping hole for Democrats hoping to pick up the seat.
Bennett, who raised $241,000 in the fourth quarter, announced his decision over the weekend at the state party convention in San Diego. He had been the Democratic favorite since entering the race on Nov. 16.
In his place, the Ventura County Star reported that Assemblywoman Julia Brownley said she will take a serious look at the race.
The other Democrats in the race include Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock, Oxnard Harbor Commissioner Jess Herrera and businessman David Cruz Thayne, but none has raised significant money, leaving an opening for a late entrance from Brownley.
The Ventura County-based district is highly competitive for both parties. The leading Republican in the race is state Sen. Tony Strickland, who was endorsed by state GOP Chairman Tom Del Beccaro. Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks (R) is also running.