Democrats, let’s think this one through carefully. In the 2008 Ventura County-based state Senate race, right-wing Tony Strickland beat former Assemblymember Hannah Beth Jackson in a race that Democrats should have won given the millions that were poured into the campaign on her behalf. How did he do it? Partly by painting Jackson as a creature of Santa Barbara, where she has long lived, and which her voting record in the Assembly reflected, and making her out to be out of touch with Ventura County.
Strickland, the GOP’s endorsed candidate for Congress and its most likely run-off candidate, already has the playbook on a race like this one. Do we really want to watch a replay of that movie by serving up a Santa Monica Democrat to him and the national Republican attack machine?
Well, this is a weak argument, since there is no federal law requirement that a Congressional candidate live in the Congressional District which they represent. Plus, Brownley presently represents Oak Park, Westlake Village, Oxnard and Port Hueneme in the California Assembly. But, as I said it is an issue.
But, what distinguishes candidate Thayne from Brownley? I have been involved in Ventura County politics for decades and have never seen him involved in any issue or race. At least Brownley, who presumably has moved to Oak Park, since that is what she said she was going to do, represents part of CA-26 as an elected office holder.
The carpetbagger argument is not one Republican Tony Strickland will use against Brownley. Her liberal voting record on the Santa Monica School Board and in the California Assembly and being out of touch with the majority of voters in the more conservative Ventura County will be sufficient enough.
Tony Strickland will allow the Democrats to beat up on one another. As the front-runner who will command most all of the Republican voters in CA-26, he can sit back and watch the Dems attack each other.