Original post here
Lots happening down in Ventura County. Brian Dennert has several scoops. First, Elton Gallegly's anemic fundraising:
What's on his agenda? He doesn't appear on television much, he doesn't hold town hall forums, and he isn't going to be passing much legislation being in the minority party. In the last quarter he raised: $42,057.75
Should Democrats and Republicans interested in running get encouragement from those numbers that he might be retiring? He does have more than $800,000 in his warchest which should prove effective at protecting him if he does run again. But is a slow fundraising period a sign that he is retiring?
Eight-hundred large is a good warchest - when you're not being targeted. If Gallegly is going to retire, he should do it sooner rather than later. His successor will need time to warm up their own fundraising machine and it's not like the Dem field is going to get thinner.
I am able to confirm that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has talked to Simi Valley political consultant Jim Dantona about running to represent the 24th congressional district.
Add his name to a growing list of potential challengers that include Shawn Stern, Tim Allison , Marie Panec, Mary Pallant, Jill Martinez, and Marta Jorgenson.
Dantona had a good fight for County Supervisor and DCCC will want the strongest campaigner in CA-24. You don't beat a registration advantage with good intentions, you do it with shoe leather.
Allison and Panec still don't have any web presence or an FEC ID. If they're making the rounds, nobody's talking about it. Time's running short for dark horses to get into this.
Jill Martinez has a long list of endorsements, including Lt. Gov. Garamendi, Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum, and Das Williams who is running for the 35th Assembly district. Although she has experience managing and teaching business efficiency, her platform makes no mention of spending policy, earmarks, or other fiscal matters. Maybe Democratic primary voters don't want to hear about those things, but the successful Dem who wins CA-24 must have a strong stance in this area.
Mary Pallant has run for the Democratic nomination previously and recently got an endorsement for 2008. This post from 2006 by Brett Wagner, one of Pallant's opponents at the time, implies that the local Democratic establishment was out to get them at the time:
Mary was apparently also an innocent victim of the same types of vicious attacks from the same "darker corners" of our local party. [...]
Mary has decided to withdraw from the congressional race because of the traumatizing effects those attacks were having on her family, including her two young daughters.
So... I'm not really sure where this leaves us. The field is full. The DCCC is involved. And friendly fire could be an issue. Given Gallegly's poor fundraising, I think my original outlook remains valid. If two of the candidates show reasonable fundraising success, then maybe this could be one of those good primaries that gets the base enthusiastic and hungry for a win in November 2009.