A Korean-born businessman from Newbury Park will announce today that he will run against first-term Rep. Elton Gallegly in the June 7 Republican primary, a spokesman said Monday.
Sang Korman, 51, will announce his candidacy at a news conference at the Hyatt-Westlake Plaza Hotel in Thousand Oaks, said Robert LaVoie, his campaign coordinator.
Korman is the first candidate to announce a challenge to Gallegly, a former Simi Valley mayor, in the solidly Republican 21st District, which includes eastern Ventura County, part of the north and west San Fernando Valley, Fillmore, Ojai and Santa Catalina Island.
Gallegly, 43, succeeded Rep. Bobbi Fiedler after he upset Tony Hope, the son of comedian Bob Hope, in a hard-fought GOP primary in 1986. Fiedler lost a U. S. Senate bid in the same primary.
Korman will be entering his first political campaign. He is owner of Goldwell Investors, a commercial real estate firm that has built several Los Angeles-area office buildings, a campaign spokeswoman said. He moved to the United States from Korea 18 years ago and has been a naturalized citizen for 10 years, she said.
Consulting Firm Hired
Korman has hired Marathon Communications, a Los Angeles political-consulting firm, to run his campaign. Marathon has worked in campaigns against rent control in Santa Monica, and in campaigns for Los Angeles City Councilmen Richard Alatorre and John Ferraro and former Councilwoman Pat Russell, LaVoie said.
Korman will need to raise about $300,000 to mount an effective campaign against Gallegly, LaVoie predicted.
LaVoie, who would not disclose how much money Korman has raised so far, said some funds probably will come from the Korean-American community in Los Angeles. Korman is director of the Korean Federation of Los Angeles, a business association.
Gallegly "looks at anyone who wants to raise that kind of money as potentially a serious challenger," said his administrative assistant, Mike Sedell. Gallegly does not know Korman.
Sedell said Gallegly, who has had to pay off an $80,000 debt from his previous election, has raised about $40,000 so far.