Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett has scheduled a speech at Patagonia headquarters at noon today at which he is expected to announce he will be a candidate for Congress next year.
Bennett, a Democrat, is scheduled to speak with employees of the renowned Ventura-based outdoor gear company, and sources close to the supervisor said this morning he will make his announcement at that time.
The announcement will end months of intense speculation as Bennett, who will be forced to end his service on the Board of Supervisors, has weighed the pros and cons of staking his political future on a run for the new 26th Congressional District seat.
He will join Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock and Westlake Village businessman David Cruz Thayne as announced Democratic candidates in the race, which is expected to be highly competitive and attract national attention as one of the nation’s key congressional battlegrounds in 2012.
No Republican has yet announced, as potential candidates await an announcement from Rep. Elton Gallegly of Simi Valley as to whether he will choose to seek a 14th term by running in that district.
Bennett will likely face off against either incumbent GOP Rep. Elton Gallegly or GOP California State Senator Tony Strickland.
My bet, although it is not the conventional wisdom, is that Gallegly will be running against Bennett come November 2012.