Even with Congressional leaders facing a horrible report card these days, Rep. Lois Capps took a strong victory from challenger Chris Mitchum in the 24th district race Tuesday.
The incumbant Democrat heads back to Washington looking forward to her ninth term in office.
Capps was flanked by family members and supporters at the Soho restaurant where her victory party was held. Early in the evening the first ballots to come out signaled some concern, and a tight race, but throughout the night the lead grew for Capps. She watched carefully and waited for over two hours after the polls closed to appear before her backers.
During a live interview with NewsChannel 3 Capps was asked why there was no debate in this election with her opponent, and she said both sides were on the campaign trail hard in the district and that’s where they were getting their message out. “And the people spoke in the election,” said Capps.
She admitted the next two year term will still have an uphill battle in many areas, “there are challenges galore but we also have tremendous opportunities. And in doing so, we can put people to work and that is what this country is hungry for a stronger improvement in our economy.” Capps said the most precious resource in the district is the people.
Capps says she is frustrated by the gridlock that often tangles up leaders in Washington, but looks for victories in health care issues, education, energy, the environment and veterans issues.
Political analyst, and award winning journalist Jerry Roberts said the race was closer than the Democrats would have liked, and also noted the Capps campaign ran a negative ad against Mitchum, which was considered rare for the Congresswoman.
Capps has held the district seat, even when boundary lines were redrawn, since 1998. She was elected after the death of her late husband Walter, a former UC Santa Barbara professor and Congressman who died while in office in October of 1997.
The election night party was packed with young voters from UC Santa Barbara, some who were up at 5 a.m. to start encouraging residents to vote on election day.
The last stop on the campaign trail for Capps was a few hours in Isla Vista rallying the student voters to go to the polls.Congress District 24 Coast, S. Barbara, SLO
For complete results go to http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/us-rep/district/24/