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Ventura County

Long to Run for 3rd Term

The Ventura County supervisor, who has held office since 1996, says she has endorsements from every mayor in her 3rd District.

June 07, 2003|Gregory W. Griggs | Times Staff Writer

Ventura County Supervisor Kathy Long announced Friday that she will seek reelection next year for one of three seats that will be up for grabs.

"I still enjoy very much what I do. If I didn't, I wouldn't be taking this step to try to win the voters' support for a third term," said Long, whose 3rd District stretches from suburban Camarillo to the Santa Clara Valley and includes Cal State Channel Islands and the Navy base in Port Hueneme.

The county's financial health is far better than when she joined the board in 1996, but Long said local solvency is threatened by billions of dollars in cuts looming in Sacramento. Her priorities include affordable housing, protection of agricultural land and sparing the Navy base from closure, she said.

The former businesswoman said she is proud of her role in aiding children and families and her work helping to secure a $40-million state grant to help build a Juvenile Justice Center that is set to open in September.

Long announced her reelection bid in a news release, saying she had already won endorsement from more than a dozen local politicians, including every mayor in her district.

"I'd be surprised if she had a great deal of difficulty in winning reelection," said Herb Gooch, chairman of the political science department at Cal Lutheran University. "I don't see anyone with the money, the name identification or an issue that's districtwide to seriously threaten her."

Santa Paula City Councilwoman Maryann Krause, who worked as an aide to Long for four years, agreed. "You would be very hard-pressed to challenge someone with her record here in the [Santa Clara] Valley," she said.

Krause credits Long for establishing the Heritage Valley Tourism Bureau to attract visitors to the area between Santa Paula and Piru; fostering development, such as a new train station in Piru; and securing more than $1 million in social services, including creation of a family resources center and a jobs and career center in Santa Paula.

Long is currently working to save the 39-bed Santa Paula Memorial Hospital from financial ruin by arranging a partnership with Ventura County Medical Center to keep open the Santa Clara Valley's only trauma center.

"She's fought for this area's needs," said Fillmore Mayor Evaristo Barajas. "She's very proactive to get things done, and she's always willing to listen. It's been a lot better area here since Kathy has been on the Board of Supervisors."

Long, 52, and her husband, Randy, are parents of a 13-year-old son, Austin, and live in Camarillo.

A primary for the open board seats will be held in March, with the election in November 2004.

Ventura County Supervisor John Flynn announced last week that he would run for an eighth term. Flynn, 70, has been challenged by activists who maintain that it's time for him to step down from the Latino-majority 5th District. Oxnard City Councilman John Zaragoza has announced his intention to run against Flynn.

The 1st District seat now held by first-term Supervisor Steve Bennett will also be open.

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