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Strickland formally announces Congressional bid

Posted: January 21, 2014 1:33 p.m.
Updated: January 21, 2014 1:33 p.m.

In a move that has long been rumored and expected, former state Sen. Tony Strickland today officially announced his intention to run and represent the Santa Clarita Valley in Congress.

In an interview Tuesday, Strickland pointed to his legislative record as a primary reason he would be an effective congressman.

“The best indicator of future performance is past success,” Strickland said. “And I'm very proud of my record in Sacramento.”

That record includes stints in the state Legislature. Strickland was elected to the state Assembly in 1998 and later made his way to the state Senate.

“I believe I'm the best person that could step forward to represent our community in Congress,” Strickland said.

Strickland also ran for Congress in 2012, when he lost to Democrat Julia Brownley in the 26th Congressional District.

He had originally filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run in that district again before apparently having a change of heart late last year, instead endorsing state Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, R-Camarillo, for that seat and amending his paperwork to run in the 25th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley.

Strickland confirmed Tuesday that he does not currently live in the boundaries of the 25th district but said he plans to move in the coming months.

He also said he has ties to the district that go beyond his current locale.

“I was raised in Simi Valley and this area is my home,” Strickland said of the 25th Congressional District.

In both his interview with The Signal and a news release announcing his plans to run, Strickland touted his conservative values and belief in limited government and low taxes.

“In Congress, I’ll be a champion for a balanced budget that reins in our national debt and protects our country for future generations,” Strickland said in a news release. “I didn’t back down from Gray Davis when he was running California into the ground and I won’t back down from President Obama and Nancy Pelosi when they try to do the same to our country.”

Strickland has already earned the endorsement of the man he is vying to replace, outgoing Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita.

“Those are big shoes to fill,” said Strickland of McKeon. “I'm just humbled that he believes in me.”

Strickland is the second Republican to officially announce a bid to replace McKeon, joining state Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale.

Knight claims a collection of endorsements, including Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy, Board of Equalization member George Runner, former Republican state Sen. Sharon Runner, former Republican Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita.

“My opponent has some good people behind his campaign, but I would take Congressman McKeon over everyone,” said Strickland, pointing to McKeon's experience in Congress.

Three others have said they plan to run in the district as Democrats: 2012 nominee and Simi Valley podiatrist Lee Rogers, Llano resident Jorge Ricardo “J.R.” Puentes Jr. and Lancaster resident and Air Force veteran Evan Thomas.


On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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