Monday, November 25, 2013

CA-26: Jeff Gorell to Challenge Julia Brownley

For months Republican congressman Buck McKeon has been rumored to be retiring. Tony Stickland, who had said he was running in neighboring CA-26, was rumored to be running for McKeon's seat if McKeon retired. McKeon hasn't retired and Strickland hadn't switched races.

As of today, neither of those events has happened either. What has happened is that Republican Assemblyman Gorell announced he was taking on Julia Brownley in CA-26. Strickland won't be a candidate and has endorsed Gorell. Assumably, Strickland will now wait for McKeon to retire this cycle or next. Gorell should give the GOP a strong candidate to take on Brownley. Dianne Feinstein had over 56% of the vote in 2012, but Republicans Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman narrowly won the district in 2010. A big question is whether Republicans can still win a district that leans this Democratic. If they're going to do it, however, it'll be in a mid-term, not a Presidential year. A 2014 loss would likely mean that 2016 is out of the question. So if Gorell was going to make an attempt to beat Brownley, 2014 would be the year.

Gorell is one of the three Republicans in assembly seats that Barack Obama won in 2012. The other two are occupied by Eric Linder and Mike Morrell. Because Linder was elected in 2012, he can serve through 2024. Gorell, like Morrell, would be termed out in 2016. As with that assembly seat, it's better to have an open seat now, rather than then in 2016 because this should be a better election for Republicans. No word yet on who'd run.

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