CA-26,  Julia Brownley,  Linda Parks,  Tony Strickland

CA-26: Handicapping Linda Parks and Tony Strickland

Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks (NP) and California State Senator Tony Strickland (R)

My friend Scott Lay over at Around The Capitol has his thoughts about the Democrats, Republicans and Linda Parks (No Party Preference) in the 26th California Congressional district.

Remember the 26th CD has the following party registration numbers:

  • Dem: 40.9%
  • Rep: 35.2%
  • NPP: 19.0%

CD26 is the kind of race that gives us political geeks the tingles. Republican State Senator Tony Strickland brings his patented Republican credentials into the district to face off against equally Democratic west side Assemblymember Julia Brownley. At least, that’s the way the DCCC and NRCC see the race. However, on the Democratic side, expect to hear Brownley labeled a “carpetbagger” by Garry South-advised David Cruz Thayne. However, with harbor commissioner Jess Herrera also playing for the anti-Brownley and Latino vote, expect them to split that vote and roll out the carpet for Brownley to reach November. Both, however, will probably take a share of the 19% indie vote.

On the Republican side, moderate Republican and Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks decided to not try to out-Republican Strickland, and dropped her party registration and thus was allowed to file as “No Party Preference.” To reach the top-two among the six-candidates in the race, I would set the bar for Parks at around 35%, which will be extraordinaily difficult to achieve. In 2010, 40% of this district cast votes for Tony Strickland against John Chiang for Controller. The Democrats will get between 40-50% of the vote here, with the top candidate likely landing at around 30%.  If Strickland gets 30% and any Democrat hits 30%, which I see as likely, there just isn’t room for Parks in November.

I agree in part, but Linda Parks is a dogged campaigner and will put her environmentally charged up foot soldiers to work. Her major problem is that there a lot of voters out of the “Green” Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village area. And, these other voters will be split between constituencies – the Democrats and Latino voters.

California State Senator Tony Strickland will have the money and the organization from the GOP to easily survive the June Primary election. He appears to be raising money and coasting at present.

But, Tony had better hope that Linda Park’s reluctance to pledge her Congressional organizational vote to Rep Nancy Pelosi will motivate enough Democrats to fund and organize for Democrat California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley.

I do think Strickland would have a more difficult general election race against Parks than the Democrat, Brownley.

If Linda Parks had re-registered as a Democrat, which she had been before moving to Thousand Oaks, I wonder if Julia Brownley would have entered the race? Oh well…..


  • Joe

    Your link regarding Parks’ choice of a House Speaker wasn’t a reluctance to vote for Pelosi, it was the right statement to make as a ‘No Party Preference’ candidate. Your referenced blog evidently thinks that a no preference candidate needs to state a preference.

     I think that you are missing the point: She will support Republican and Democrat leaders that work to help the voters. All voters benefit.  Let see how fast Democrats or Republicans back her up in November when they don’t have a horse in the race.

    • Gregory Flap Cole

       No, Joe, I am not missing the point.

      A number of  Democrat activists have been quite active on the blogs and twitter bemoaning the fact that Parks will not say she will vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.

      This is why they have abandoned her and Julia Brownley came into the race when Steve Bennett chickened out.

      Now, if Linda were to finish second to Tony Strickland and be in the general election will she say the same thing?

      If she wants to win, she will have to flip and say she will organize with the Democrats. Otherwise, the Dems will stay home and not vote for her.

      Linda is in a box and this is why she probably won’t make it to the November general election.

  • Joe

     You really think that Democrats would prefer to have Tony Strickland to someone whose only “flaw” is that they won’t take sides on a non-issue? Well, not this Democrat. BTW, she will not “have to flip” because she hasn’t made a choice yet.

    These Democratic activists do not sound like the sharpest tools in the shed.  Not to be critical, and I really don’t know who you are referring to, but if the activists were so sharp and worthy of consideration, why don’t they have ONE (1) candidate? If they had one candidate, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    And, respectfully speaking, I do think that you are missing the point. Voters (at least I am) are tired of the two sides not working for the public good. Yes, I am a Democrat and  tend to think that the Republican leadership is the problem,  but this eye for an eye thing is making me blind :-).  So if I were Linda Parks at this point in the election, I would rather not throw gas on the fire and get saddled with a label that I had no part in creating.  That decision needs to wait until all of the facts are on the table.

    • Tamara

      We do have just one candidate in the race–Julia Brownley.  All the rest are non-issues.  Linda will take a lot of votes from Strickland–he’ll have to go negative on her.  That shouldn’t be a problem for Tony–he’s never run a positive campaign in his life.  Linda hasn’t been a Republican for almost two weeks now—her website shows she is against the affordable care act, for all the usual tax breaks for the wealthy and pretty much in line with the Republican leadership on everything of significance (as far as we can tell, since like most politicians she keeps it vague). 

      What makes anyone think the her two week old conversion would make her not support Boehner for Speaker?

      • Joe

         Tamara,  Your “non-issues” are going to take votes from Brownley. Our Democratic leadership/activists were not capable of
        or did not understand the implications of the impact of the “top two”
        rules and did not make the arrangements necessary to have one candidate.

        Your lack of reference to specifics on Linda’s website demonstrates how off-base you are on Parks’ stance on significant issues. Linda has an extensive page discussing her views on important issues. All of the other “non-issues” do as well.  Julia Brownley just says “Coming Soon”.  For all of the clamor regarding who Linda would vote for as Speaker, it is a little deceitful to be the only candidate without this information.

        • Gregory Flap Cole


          The Democrats had a stellar (at least that is what they thought) in Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett. The Dems would have cleared the field, but Bennett chickened out.

          Linda Parks would have been better positioned in a Bennett vs. Strickland field and her candidacy had been predicated on it.

          Also, she would have run as a moderate Republican and tried to knock off Strickland in the June Primary.

          But, Bennett withdrew and the Democrats now have 4 candidates and Parks changed her party designation.

          Looks to me that it will be Brownley Vs. Strickland in the November general election. I just do not see how Linda Parks gets more than the low 20% of the vote.

          • Joe

             So you agree that the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves for not coming up with a single candidate. If the four Dems split the registered vote, all Linda has to do is get in the low 20s.

    • Gregory Flap Cole


      What makes you think that Linda Parks will be able to bring both sides together? Congress is meant to be a partisan place.

      Linda knows that she could not win as a Republican or Democrat and in her own self-interest dropped her party preference.

      Parks is just another self-serving politician with a No Party Designation. Nothing wrong with that since Brownley and Strickland are the same, but let’s tell it as it is.

      But, answer me this: How do you think Parks will be able to fund her campaign against  Democratic and a  Republican party backed candidates?

      • Joe

         Linda Parks can vote for and against issues that are important to her constituents without having to be concerned with supporting a party agenda. This is more productive toward the end goal of having a functioning government than sitting on one side or the other. I believe that Congress should be a functioning place, not a partisan bickering place.

        Linda Parks has funded her campaign against the big bankroll of the parties before.  That would probably be a good place to look to answer your last question.

        • Gregory Flap Cole

          Linda Parks is not running just in Thousand Oaks any longer and NOT against a termed-out Audra Strickland who was a carpetbagger. The CA-26 Congressional District covers a good deal of territory where Parks is unknown.

          Direct mail will help build name identification but when the attacks from Brownley and Strickland come, I doubt she will have enough cash left to respond.

          Her volunteer flyer distributors will have a hard time covering the entire CD. It is physically just too large.

          But, it will be interesting to see where Parks gets her money and whether any Super PACS get involved in the race for her. With the Super PAC she can take big money and then deny she really accepted it.

          We will see….