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California - 23rd District

Incumbent -- Lois Capps (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.


District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

The Democratic 23rd is a sliver of coastline stretching south from the Monterey County line through San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Oxnard into Ventura County, which lies northwest of Los Angeles.

Agriculture is a mainstay in the San Luis Obispo area. Fast-growing Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County is known for its manufacturing sector as well as its impressive agricultural output of strawberries, broccoli and wine grapes. The Goleta Valley, just north of Santa Barbara, was once a farming region but is now attracting high-tech research.

Oxnard is home to the Port of Hueneme, the only international port on the central coast. It is responsible for importing the majority of California's bananas and cars, and handles more than $10 billion worth of cargo annually. The largest single employer in the county is the Naval Base Ventura County near the port. Tourism also bolsters this beachfront district's economy.

Strongly Democratic Oxnard, which has experienced consistent population growth for decades, is home to a significant portion of the 23rd's growing Hispanic population. The 23rd's college students, such as those at University of California, Santa Barbara, and California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, mix with the Hollywood elite to form a left-leaning district. Democrat Jerry Brown won the district by more than 17 percentage points in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

Major Industry

Agriculture, military, tourism

Military Bases

Naval Base Ventura County, 6,500 military, 4,400 civilian (2011) (shared with the 24th); Vandenberg Air Force Base, 2,798 military, 4,072 civilian (2010) (shared with the 24th)

Cities

Oxnard, 197,899; Santa Maria (pt.), 99,137; Santa Barbara, 88,410; San Luis Obispo (pt.), 45,113; Goleta, 29,888

notable

Hearst Castle, a historic house museum at San Simeon, was home to William Randolph Hearst; Channel Islands National Park is home to 145 unique species of flora and fauna and 2,000 other species.

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