Election Day 2011 hadn’t even arrived yet, but the fireworks for the State Senate 19th District race were already starting to shoot off. Jason Hodge, an Oxnard harbor commissioner and firefighter who has already secured the endorsements of the Tri Counties Building Trades Council and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 770, claimed in an open letter to his Democratic opponent Hannah-Beth Jackson and supporters that a private investigator had been digging into his background as harbor commissioner.
“I don’t think you hired this private investigator,” Hodge wrote. “But since he works for Democrats, I suspect he is being paid by one of the special interests that invested so heavily in your last multimillion-dollar campaign.” Hodge said he would provide such information to anyone who asked and said the assumption could be made the digging is a “preamble for a negative campaign.”
Jackson, meanwhile, received the endorsement of the UCSB Campus Dems during the weekend. She was endorsed on a 29-1 vote. The endorsement could go a long way in securing votes from a critical Isla Vista population for Jackson, who served in the Assembly for three terms from 1998-2004. In 2008, Jackson lost a close and bitterly contested race against Republican Tony Strickland for the State Senate’s 19th District. Because of the recent redistricting, Strickland was drawn out of the district, once again opening it up to a newcomer.
Jackson and Hodge are the only two who have made clear their intention to run. Republican Mike Stoker, who lost to Das Williams in the 2010 election for the Assembly seat Jackson once held, is considering a run. The primary is slated for June 5.