I’ve heard these rumors for weeks, and now they are coming back from D.C.
I wrote previously about Tony Strickland showing up in Antelope Valley and receiving a “rude greeting” from BofE member George Runner and State Senator Steve Knight. They both told him to go back to CA-26 according to the article in the local Antelope Valley paper.
Well, it appears that Buck McKeon wants Tony Strickland, not Scott Wilk (Or Cameron Smythe) for Congress… according to my sources, so much so that he is going to retire early in order to improve Strickland’s chances of winning in CA-25.
CA-25 is considered a safe Republican District, but Buck McKeon as he has aged has lost his grip on the district somewhat and rumors of “scandal” have been getting louder.
McKeon “only” won by 9.5 points in 2012. I was told to look for McKeon to be out during the summer of 2013, I was told July – but it would not surprise me if he waited a bit later but not too late for the special election to be concurrent if this intel is correct. I personally think a simple retirement (aka not running in 2014) is more likely since McKeon is currently the chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee through the end of the 2014 term.
The bizarre dynamic is that this will pit Kevin McCarthy and the GOP establishment against Steve Knight and George Runner – further proof that political alliances are fleeting.
The tie in? In 2012 CA-26, Strickland lost, like every other Republican in a competitive district in California. CA-26 is a marginal district that is currently infested by Julia Brownley. Strickland wants an easier ticket to Washington DC…
… which leaves Assemblymember Jeff Gorrell, a moderate, military veteran who has told insiders that he is running in CA-26 for Congress. When you couple Jeff Gorrell’s insider activity, Strickland’s insider activity with the intel from Washington D.C. you have the complete picture of what is happening. The question is when.
Oh, and the voters of CA-25??? They appear to be an ancillary footnote once again.
CA-25 takes in Antelope Valley (Think Lancaster / Palmdale), Santa Clarita Valley (Think Magic Mountain), part of Chatsworth-Northridge area along the 118 freeway to Simi Valley (which is in Ventura County).
CA-26 is almost completely encased in Ventura County with a bizarre slice of LA County.