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Strickland, Brownley ready for November

Candidates will vie for independent voters

Posted: June 21, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 21, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Moorpark, who snagged more than 40 percent of the June 5 primary vote in his first run for the 26th Congressional District, says he’s confident he can sway a large number of independent voters by the November general election.
Strickland is a familiar face in the Santa Clarita Valley, having served as state senator for California’s 19th District and, before that, as representative for the 37th Assembly District.

Since mid-January, he’s had his sights set on representing the people in Washington, D.C.

On June 5, he won 47,829 votes in the 26th Congressional District primary race, the highest number cast for a single candidate. He outshone Julia Brownley, a Democrat and representative of the 41st Assembly District, who won 29,144 votes in her bid for the congressional district.

Six candidates were vying to represent the redrawn 26th Congressional District — which includes the Santa Clarita Valley west of Interstate 5. Three other Democrats and independent Linda Parks were eliminated in the primary.

By percentages, Strickland walked away with 44.2 percent compared to Brownley’s 26.9 percent.

Strickland said much of his success in November will hinge on swaying independent voters.

Parks, the third highest vote-getter who ran with “no party preference,” garnered 19,846 votes in the primary, representing almost 20 percent of the 26th Congressional District electorate.

Strickland, 42, sees Parks’ elimination from the general election as an opportunity for him.

“Linda Parks came in third with a good percentage,” Strickland said in an interview.

“And, with a large number of Republicans turned independent, I think that’s the kind of support I can win over,” he said. “Most of these Parks votes will come our way.”

The 59-year-old Brownley, however, interprets the primary election numbers differently.

“I was a bit surprised that with no (Republican) opposition, Tony only received 44 percent of the vote in a primary that dramatically favored Republican turnout compared to what the general election in November will look like,” Brownley said.

“Clearly it shows that the voters in the district, including many Republicans, know Tony’s record well and they don’t believe he’d represent their values in Congress.”

The results have not changed her strategy for the upcoming election, Brownley said.

“I will continue to talk about how I will protect Medicare and Social Security, women’s health rights, and how to move our economy forward, not backward,” she said.

“We were proud to have so much support from across the district,” she said. “Clearly our message of protecting women’s health rights, standing up for seniors, and talking about the economic policies that will move us forward rather than backward, resonated with the voters.”

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