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Democrat David Pollock quits crowded Ventura County House race

March 8, 2012 |  2:54 pm

Elton Gallegly Shortly before filing closes for the June 5 primary election, Democrat David Pollock said Thursday he is quitting the race for an open congressional seat in Ventura County.

The Moorpark councilman, one of several Democrats seeking the newly drawn 26th Congressional District seat, cited the crowded field and the new "top two" primary system as reasons for his "agonizing decision."

"There was too great a risk that my candidacy might divide Democratic voters and deny any of us a place in the top two" finishers, who will go on the general election in November, Pollock said.

Pollock did not endorse one of the other Democrats on Thursday but a spokesman said he might do so later. 

Last month, Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett dropped out. Democrats remaining in the race include state Sen. Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica), Oxnard Harbor Commissioner Jess Herrera  and tennis coach and filmmaker David Cruz Thayne.

State Sen. Tony Strickland (R-Moorpark) is in the race.  Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks switched her voter registration from Republican to "no party preference" before filing. Teacher Akiva Werbalowsky also is running.

Much of the new district has been represented by Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley) but he has decided to retire rather than run against another Republican congressman or seek reelection in the new district, which has a slight Democratic voter registration edge.

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--Jean Merl

Photo: Rep. Elton Gallegly. Credit: Associated Press

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