Thursday, April 26 , 2018, 1:42 am | Fair 51º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Maldonado Exploring Run for Congress Against Capps

Former lieutenant governor and longtime legislator from Santa Maria files early campaign paperwork

Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, who lost a hard-fought race to keep the job last November, reportedly is contemplating a run for Congress next year against Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

Maldonado, a 43-year-old Santa Maria Republican, was appointed lieutenant governor by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010 after his predecessor, Democrat John Garamendi, was elected to Congress. Maldonado lost to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in the November election.

According to The Tribune of San Luis Obispo, the Federal Elections Commission on Friday confirmed that Maldonado has filed the necessary paperwork to form an exploratory committee and begin collecting money.

Maldonado could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Capps is serving her seventh two-year term in Congress after winning a special election to succeed her late husband, Rep. Walter Capps, D-Santa Barbara, who died in office in 1997.

Capps currently represents the 23rd Congressional District, a narrow strip that runs mostly along the coastline in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties. The voter-approved Citizens Redistricting Commission will begin redrawing congressional boundaries later this year based on fresh data from the 2010 census, and the 23rd District — widely acknowledged as one of the most heavily gerrymandered districts in the country — almost certainly will be modified.

Before being appointed lieutenant governor, Maldonado served one term in the state Senate and three terms in the Assembly. He is a former Santa Maria mayor and councilman, and he sought the 2006 Republican nomination for state controller but lost in the primary to now state Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks, whose district includes Santa Barbara County’s South Coast.

One of Schwarzenegger’s few Republican allies in the Legislature, Maldonado often took positions at odds with his party’s legislative priorities. In 2009, he provided the key vote as Schwarzenegger and Democratic legislators pushed through a $14 billion tax increase to help reverse California’s then-$42 billion budget deficit.

Ashley Schapitl, a Capps spokeswoman, told The Tribune that Capps is “prepared for a competitive race regardless of who her opponents will be.”

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >