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Republicans drop party in congressional races

February 29, 2012 |  3:38 pm

LA Congressman Retirement.JPEG-06b0e.jpgVentura County Supervisor Linda Parks, who is running in a crowded race for an open congressional seat, on Wednesday switched her registration from Republican to "decline to state."

The move will allow Parks, a political moderate, to be described as having no party preference on the June 5 primary ballot.

Democrats have a slight registration edge in new 26th Congressional District but both parties are expected to fight hard for the seat.  Rep. Elton Gallegly  has represented much of the area in the past but has decided to retire after last year's redrawing of political maps put him in a different district.

State Sen. Tony Strickland of Moorpark has much of the Republican Party leadership behind his candidacy and several Democrats also have entered the race.

Parks said she identifies more with middle-of-the-road voters than with the ideological extremes that are elements in both major political parties.

"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 announcing her registration change.

Earlier this week former GOP Assemblyman  Anthony Adams got into the race for a new Inland Empire congressional seat--also as a candidate unaffiliated with any political party.

Adams decided not to seek reelection  to the  Legislature two years ago after facing an unsuccessful attempt to recall him from office because he  voted for temporary tax increases in 2009 to help ease the state's budget crisis.

The 8th Congressional District, which includes parts of San Bernardino and Mono counties, is strongly Republican and several GOP candidates have entered the race, along  with one Democrat.

California elections will be conducted this year under a new system in which all candidates appear on a single primary ballot given to all voters.  The top two vote getters, regardless of party, will advance to the November general election.


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--Jean Merl

Photo: Rep. Elton Gallegly is retiring, leaving open the new 26th Congressional District seat. Credit: Associated Press