Wednesday, September 2 , 2015, 1:26 pm | Partly Cloudy 77.0º




Capps Scores Solid Victory Over Maldonado in 24th Congressional Race

Democrat running ahead in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, celebrates her re-election to Congress on Tuesday night with supporters gathered at El Paseo Mexican Restaurant.

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, celebrates her re-election to Congress on Tuesday night with supporters gathered at El Paseo Mexican Restaurant.  (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper | updated logo 1:24 a.m. |

Despite months of tough campaigning in the tightest race of her career, Rep. Lois Capps defeated Republican challenger Abel Maldonado by a sound margin Tuesday, securing her seat in Congress representing the Central Coast for another two years.

With all precincts reporting, Capps secured 54.8 percent of the vote on the Central Coast, with Maldonado garnering 45.2 percent.

Capps and her supporters were celebrating at El Paseo restaurant in Santa Barbara on Tuesday night when she offered a few thoughts on her win.

“Democracy is about winning and losing and moving forward — and we’re moving forward tonight,” she said.

She congratulated Maldonado for his campaign and many years of public service, and celebrated the victories of her fellow Democrats: Hannah-Beth Jackson in the state Senate and Das Williams in the state Assembly.

Surrounded by her family, she thanked her campaign staff and volunteers for their months of work, saying it was “the most beautiful campaign I’ve ever participated in.”

She gave a specific shout out to the young people who came out to vote, especially college students in the Santa Barbara area.

Capps has represented the Central Coast since 1998, and never really faced a serious election challenge, but the rules of the game changed for her when California’s legislative and congressional districts were redrawn in 2011.

Redistricting changed the race into a more competitive one for Capps, taking the oddly shaped 23rd district that trailed up the Central Coast from Oxnard to the border of Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, while inland — and typically more conservative — regions were moved to another.

The new 24th District took its place, and included all of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, and a small part of Ventura County.

By the end of the night, Capps was ahead by only three percentage points in San Luis Obispo County, but was ahead in Ventura County with 62.5 percent of the ballots.  In Santa Barbara County, Capps won with 57.2 percent of the votes.

During her campaign, Capps focused on her 14-year track record in Congress, her position on women’s rights, and her role in Congress voting on pivotal issues such as the Affordable Care Act.

Both candidates were dogged by tax issues during the campaign. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Capps failed to report rental income from a staffer living in her residence.

In turn, Maldonado’s family farming business is still in a tax dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over millions of dollars in deductions. 

Those issues turned into fodder for a media blitz on both sides, bombarding television viewers with attack ads and clogging up mailboxes with mailers.

Maldonado issued a statement on Tuesday evening, congratulating Capps on her victory.

“For anyone today who supported my campaign, I am honored and grateful for your support, not just today, but throughout my life in public service,” he said. “It wasn’t easy, but nothing ever worth fighting for ever is and even though the outcome wasn’t the one we had hoped for, this was a campaign we all can be proud of.”

Looking forward, Capps told Noozhawk that the biggest issues facing the country over the next four years are the economy and getting ordinary Americans working again.

“We’ve got to strengthen the economy,” she said, adding that she plans to work to extend tax cuts for middle class Americans. 

And to the voters, Capps said, “Thank you. No matter who you voted for.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Abel Maldonado watches Tuesday night as election results come in. The Republican lost to incumbent Democrat Lois Capps in the race for the 24th District congressional seat. (Frank Cowan / Noozhawk photo)
Abel Maldonado watches Tuesday night as election results come in. The Republican lost to incumbent Democrat Lois Capps in the race for the 24th District congressional seat. (Frank Cowan / Noozhawk photo)




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» on 11.07.12 @ 06:16 AM

Capps and all of Congress must quickly put Tuesday behind them and get to work on the looming budget showdown. There is renewed , but very limited, bipartisan support for bringing the Simpson Bowles plan back to the table. This plan has some chance for bipartisan support and pisses off both the AARP and Grover Norquist. The plan achieves 26 percent of its deficit reduction from revenue increases, 57 percent from spending cuts and 17 percent from interest savings.
  If you agree that the Simpson Bowles proposals give us the best chance at reducing deficit spending , please contact your members of Congress and urge their support. You can also stay tuned by joining Enact the Plan. http://www.enacttheplan.org/
  Wasting time disagreeing and hurling insults at each other here on Noozhawk can be entertaining , but a few minutes contacting our lawmakers ,urging action, is called for from both sides.

» on 11.07.12 @ 12:14 PM

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to those who gave so much to support what they believe in by actively participating in the best political and democratic system in the history of the world.

Now for the hard work ahead. We have trusted our future economic stability to Congresswoman Capps. To me this means constructive compromise to avoid sequestration, the economic cliff, and runaway entitlements.

We cannot spend ourselves into prosperity, so vote to stop growing debt and deliver on the promise to lower costs and increased revenues through lower unemployment (more paying more instead of fewer paying anything).

We must all begin anew this morning to fighting for liberty, and doing our part to return our nation to leadership in the world.

» on 11.07.12 @ 01:20 PM

Agree wholeheartedly with Willy. The Simpson/Bowles debt reduction plan needs to be enacted ASAP.

» on 11.07.12 @ 02:48 PM

Another term of Lois staring blankly ahead giving no indication she has a clue about anything, much less how to resolve our countries economic crisis.

» on 11.07.12 @ 02:56 PM

Simpson/Bowls will do no good at this point. Far too much currency has already been printed against an anemic economy. To make matters worse, some $2trillion in cash pulled out of the economy in Obama’s first election will be followed by another drain as the investors, creators, doers and makers pull out. This will exacerbate the inflationary pressure of having far too much currency floating around with no economic value to back it up.

Hold on to your hats children, you voted to raid an already empty piggy bank and those who you despise because of their success will leave it to you to do it your self.

» on 11.07.12 @ 03:01 PM

This state is now run by losers on Welfare food stamps and section 8, More takers than makers..

Calif is doomed—Tax, tax ,tax,can you hear the small & large business owners leaving the Welfare state—WOW

» on 11.07.12 @ 04:10 PM

This state is turning into GREECE, too many takers on the dole and not enough makers.

Calif is doomed.

The Black market will explode, and jobs will be leaving the state fast—Watch..

» on 11.08.12 @ 12:02 PM

I don’t know where you come up with this stuff, Bishop ANchove. The rate of dollar devaluation is at a 40 year low. In other words, the U.S. dollar has not retained its strength this well in 40 years.

U.S. exports have grown by 17% since January 2011, and 52% since January 2009, when Obama took office. That’s much better than either Bush ever did, and even better than Clinton’s first term (44%).

If you continue to pull these make-believe issues out of your tookus, I am going to change your name to Bishop Pirooma. That’s an acronym that stands for Pulled It Right Out Of My…well, you know.

» on 11.08.12 @ 02:18 PM

Rambler, your stats are quite deceptive. The trade deficit reached its lowest point in 2009 and has actually increased since then. In the last few months it has improved somewhat, but many economists attribute this to the much faster growing economies in Asia or Latin America than our own anemic economy.

I am not sure what you’re talking about regarding dollar devaluation. Since the the start of the Obama administration and all the quantitative easing programs by the Fed, the dollar has declined against most currencies around the world. For example, the US dollar could be exchanged for $1.6 of Australian dollars in 2009; today it is around 90 cents.

» on 11.08.12 @ 03:41 PM

Well Lou the export data is there for anyone to Google. Now, if the trade deficit argues that a 50% growth in exports is bad, you’ll have to go into more depth.

Certainly a cheaper dollar helps exports and makes imports more expensive, hence the trade deficit. But as any thinking person might deduce, there are several ways to arrive at a trade deficit or surplus, and many are not very pleasant. Arriving there with higher exports is not one of the unpleasant routes. Especially in a country like this.

Take Australia (though I don’t know why) and note as you have that its dollar has increased in value compared to ours. How do you think that affects their exports?

If our goal is to bring back manufacturing jobs, then improved export data is good. And if the dollar loses value against the Australian dollar, that’s just a sacrifice we’ll have to live with. No more cheap Ugg boots.

Note that the buying power of the USD for American consumers has held its value better under Obama than any other president in the last 40 years.

» on 11.08.12 @ 04:06 PM

“Note that the buying power of the USD for American consumers has held its value better under Obama than any other president in the last 40 years.”

If you are referring to our low inflation rate in the last few years, I am not sure you want to hang your hat on this. Because of deleveraging of household debt, anemic economic growth, high unemployment, and slack in our economy, CPI has been rather tame. Although CPI has been low, most commodity prices have risen at far greater rates, resulting in higher prices for gasoline and food.

Where did you see that exports have increased by 50% in the last few years? Are you referring to China? If you are, you should be aware that our imports have also increased by a similar rate, hence higher trade deficits.

» on 11.09.12 @ 12:31 AM

Father Lou, are you using the Public Library computers? Is that why you don’t have time to research these things? Do you really think the CPI doesn’t include food and gas? It sure does.

“Because of deleveraging of household debt, anemic economic growth, high unemployment, and slack in our economy, CPI has been rather tame.” What a bunch of blather, all spun up like cotton candy. All of those factors you list have been present under inflationary conditions, so they don’t factor.

On exports, am I referring to China? No, Lou. The U.S. - that’s this country. You need to avail yourself of the internet for more than spleen venting:

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/exports

To reiterate, 52% growth in U.S. exports since 2009.

Also, note again that the buying power of the USD for American consumers has held its value better under Obama than any other president in the last 40 years.

» on 11.09.12 @ 02:37 AM

Rambler, you have a way of twisting the numbers to show only one side of the picture. Let me ask you this question: did the trade deficit go up during the Obama Administration? While you are finding out the answer, is it not true one reason for higher exports is that American manufacturers are selling their goods overseas because of a combination of our weak economy and far stronger economies in Asia and Latin America and Canada.

Yes, without gas and food, the CPI would have been much lower. Is it not a fact that gas prices were $1.84 per gallon when Obama took office. Price of corn has gone up by 50% in the last 4 years. How about health insurance, college tuition and utility bills? As long as you can’t eat it or consume it there is no inflation.

» on 11.09.12 @ 01:27 PM

Lou, arguing with you is like sitting on a whoopie cushion that never runs out of air.

Look up the gas prices.

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