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Longtime affordable housing advocate Jill Martinez (pictured) announced her candidacy for the 24th Congressional District; Martinez will run as a Democrat against Republican Elton Gallegly, the staunchly conservative 19-year incumbent from Simi Valley. The boundaries of Gallegly’s district were radically redrawn during the most recent re-apportionment, giving Democrats more than a fighting chance for the first time in decades. In his new district, Gallegly represents much of inland Santa Barbara County — Vandenberg, Lompoc, and the Santa Ynez Valley — as well as his traditional turf in Ventura County. An ordained Presbyterian minister, Martinez explained she was running because she saw a crisis in jobs, housing, education, and healthcare. “I couldn’t sit back anymore and assume someone else was going to take care of it,” Martinez said, adding that she was encouraged to run by Illinois Congressman Ronald Emmanuel, chair of the Democratic Central Campaign Committee. Other Democrats entering the fray include peace activist Brett Wagner — who has opposed Gallegly twice before — and Democratic Party activist Mary Pallant of Oak Park



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