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Election 2012: Endorsements coming fast

Race for Congress features former harbor commission president

Amigos805.com staff report

For those who have been watching, or seeking to avoid the nonstop media coverage of caucuses and primary races in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida — our time is rapidly approaching.

Already, a number of local candidates have launched their campaigns for a variety of city, county, state and national elected positions.

Jess Herrera

One race that has already drawn a number of candidates is the newly drawn 26th Congressional District where former Oxnard Harbor District President Jess Herrera is one of a growing field of candidates. The district covers Ventura County except for most of Simi Valley. Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Simi Valley, who previously represented Ventura County, announced earlier this month that he plans to retire from Congress.

Besides Herrera, other Democrats who have already announced plans to run for the 26th Congressional District include Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett, Moorpark Councilmember David Pollock, Zeke Ruelas of Oxnard and Westlake Village businessman David Cruz Thayne.

State Sen. Tony Strickland is running for the Republican nomination while Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks, a registered Republican, is running as an Independent.

For his part, Herrera announced this week that he has picked up the high-profile support of former California Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, the highest-elected Hispanic official to ever serve the State of California.

“Californians today need jobs and small businesses are seeking meaningful solutions, not simply promises from Washington, which is why I am supporting Jess Herrera,” Bustamante said in a media release. “Over the years, I have supported Jess on initiatives that have successfully fueled new economic opportunities and job creation through the Port of Hueneme, a vital $200-million engine.”

Herrera, an Oxnard resident, is immediate past-president of the Port of Hueneme and served on the Harbor Commission for 17 years. A Vietnam-era veteran, Herrera is a second-generation longshoreman whose career has centered on business development and trade.

“I am honored to receive the support of my good friend Cruz Bustamante, an individual who has served the people of California with distinction,” Herrera said. “I look forward to working with Cruz and other leaders to address the greatest needs facing us, the most pressing involving the economy.”

Bustamante was first elected to State Assemblymember in 1993 and rose to Speaker of the Assembly before becoming lieutenant governor. In 2003, he received 2.7 million votes and placed second to Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger in the race for California governor.

“Jess Herrera is the right person at this historic time of a newly-created Congressional District,” Bustamante said. “The region needs a fresh, unifying voice with a clear vision and the proven ability to rally a broad cross-section of people who can make it happen by working together.”

The 26th Congressional District runs from Ojai to Westlake Village. During his 27 years in leadership, Jess Herrera has earned the endorsement of District Attorney Greg Totten, Sheriff Geoff Dean, California Seniors President Hank Lacayo, Tri-County Labor Council, Service Employees International Union, Oxnard Peace Officers Association and Oxnard Firefighters, according to the media release.

State Senate race

Hannah-Beth Jackson

In the race for the newly drawn 19th State Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and a large portion of Ventura County, Hannah-Beth Jackson announced this week that she received the endorsement of Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal.

“I’ve worked with Hannah-Beth for many years, long before either of us was elected to serve in public office,” Carbajal stated in a media release. “I’m pleased to support Hannah-Beth because she always represented our community well during her six years in the State Assembly, and she will continue to do so as our State Senator. As chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, Hannah-Beth led the fight to protect our coast — and to promote green jobs through alternative energy.”

“I’m honored to have earned Supervisor Carbajal’s support,” Jackson said. “He’s a dedicated, hard-working public servant who puts his constituents first. I look forward to working with him on behalf of the people of Santa Barbara County and our coast.”

Jackson has also been endorsed by Assemblymember Das Williams, Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long and Oxnard City councilmembers Carmen Ramirez and Dr. Irene Pickard.

Jackson, a former Santa Barbara assemblymember, is running against fellow Democrat and Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner Jason T. Hodge, with former Santa Barbara County Supervisor Mike Stoker expected to run in the Republican primary. Stoker lost to Das Williams last year in the race for the 35th State Assembly District.

The California Primary will be held on Tuesday, June 5, with the general election in November.

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