2012-03-08 / Community
Parks to run for Congress as independent
Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks reregistered last week as an independent candidate, a move that shakes the partisan politics already at play in the race for the newly drawn 26th Congressional District.
The Thousand Oaks resident, who has served as a county supervisor for the past nine years, had been registered as a Republican and was running in the 26th District as an undeclared candidate.
Parks officially declared her independence of both Republicans and Democrats on Feb. 29 after she declined to state her party affiliation during reregistration at the Ventura County Elections Division.
“I believe Republicans and Democrats need to work together, and, if elected, I will work with fellow congressional members regardless of party,” Parks said in a statement.
The new 26th Congressional District includes most of Ventura Countyandhasa6percent Democratic registration advantage. Nearly 20 percent of the district’s voters are registered as “decline to state.” Another 24 percent are affiliated with parties other than Democrat or Republican.
The open primary for the U.S. House of Representatives seat is June 5, when the top two votegetters— regardless of political party—will be put on the ballot for the November election.
Akiva Werbalowsky, a permaculture designer in Ojai, is also running in the district as an independent candidate.
State Sen. Tony Strickland is running with an endorsement from the Ventura County Republican Party.
Also vying for the seat are four Democrats: Moorpark City Councilmember David Pollock, Westlake Village businessman David Cruz Thayne, Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner Jess Herrera and 41st District Assemblymember Julia Brownley.
Steve Bennett, who was regarded as the Democratic frontrunner, bowed out of the race last month in order to keep his seat on the Ventura County Board of Supervi- sors. Benn ett’s surprise announceme n t on Feb. 11 left the Ventura County Democratic Committee unable to officially back a single candidate.
Parks, a former City Council member and mayor of Thousand Oaks, said she opted to become independent in order to give herself “greater flexibility” in bringing competing partisan interests together.
“Congress is broken and we need to end the partisan extremism to effectively govern, fix the economy and create jobs,” she said
Upon declaring her independence, Parks pledged not to accept money from any political action committees (PACs), unions, parties or major corporations.
Just days after her announcement, the candidate received an official endorsement from the Ventura County Deputy Sheriff’s Association board of directors.
Sgt. Matt Findlay, VCDSA president, said Parks is consistently supportive of public safety efforts and law enforcement authorities.
The VCDSA board is confident that Parks would “protect and advance the interests of citizens, businesses and municipalities in Ventura County and throughout California,” Findlay said.