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State teachers union backs Republican for Assembly seat

March 27, 2012 |  1:27 pm

Paul StricklandThe California Teachers Assn., traditionally a big backer of Democratic candidates, has endorsed a Republican for an open Assembly seat in  a GOP stronghold, the organization has confirmed.

Paul Strickland, a former animator and an elected member of a local school board, is one of four candidates for the newly drawn 38th Assembly District, which covers the Santa Clarita and Simi valleys as well as part of the San Fernando Valley. 

Other Republicans in the  already-contentious race are Patricia McKeon, wife of longtime Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, and Scott Wilk, a former aide to Buck McKeon and other GOP lawmakers.  The only Democrat on the ballot is small-business owner Edward Headington of the Santa Clarita Valley.

CTA spokesman Mike Myslinksi  said Strickland got the nod over the weekend  because “he is a school board member liked by local teachers.”

Myslinski added the organization might make additional endorsements of Republicans this year because of the new open primary system in which the top two finishers in the June 5 primary will advance to the November general election, regardless of party affiliation.

Republicans hold a 41%-35% registration edge in the district.


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-- Jean Merl

Photo: Paul Strickland. Credit: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times