The Associated Press declared Rep. Julia Brownley the winner in her bid for re-election to Congress in District 26, which takes in most of Ventura County.
Brownley was seeking a second term against Jeff Gorell, a sitting member of the Assembly and Afghanistan War veteran. When she won two years ago, she was the first Democrat in 70 years to be elected to represent Ventura County in Congress
Brownley claimed victory in a statement emailed Wednesday afternoon. “I am honored to have the privilege to continue serving as Ventura County’s Congresswoman. This was a hard fought race and I have the utmost respect for Jeff Gorell — especially for his service to our country,” she said.
“Today’s update confirms that the majority of voters in Ventura County have chosen a representative who will champion their values in Congress. I will continue to stand up for women and families, fight for our veterans, and work to bring jobs and economic security to Ventura County. I am excited to get to work in the 114th Congress and will work tirelessly to find bipartisan solutions in Washington,” Brownley added.
For the past several days, while maintaining a slim lead, the race between Brownley and Gorrell has been too close to call. New results from Ventura County on Wednesday put Brownley ahead by more than 2,300 votes.
Campaigning leading up to the election was intense. Democrats brought in former President Bill Clinton just days before the election to stump for Brownley votes in Oxnard, while Republicans brought in House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to back Gorell.
Gorell’s staff said he was not ready to concede. On Facebook Gorell said the numbers were not a promising trend but he wants to wait until all the votes are counted before considering his options.
Gorell is spending time with his family in Camarillo and will soon return to Sacramento to finish his assembly term. Voters elected Democrat Jaqui Irwin to take his place in the state Assembly.
Brownley returned to Washington, D.C. after attending a Veterans Day event at Ivy Lawn Cemetery in Ventura on Tuesday.District 26 Gold Coast, Ventura