SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The political season is starting to heat up in the 24th Congressional District that includes all of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and western Ventura county. U.S. Rep. Lois Capps stopped by NewsChannel 3 studios Tuesday and announced that she would be running for an eighth term.
The former school nurse won her late husband Walter Capps seat in 1998. This year she has some new competition on her side of the aisle. Democrat Paul Coyne Jr. said he was running as a moderate option to Capps.
The banker said he leans Libertarian and Democrat on issues. He is fiscally conservative, and pro-gun rights. Coyne said he is also pro-union and against big military spending. Coyne said he believes voters are tired of the partisanship preventing elected officials from getting things done.
Capps said she is prepared to get things done, including an immigration bill that will help the local agriculture industry as well as science and technology fields. Capps also said she wants the farm bill passed to ensure a portion she authored will help organic growers.
Their Republicans challengers include Santa Barbara City Councilman and software engineer Dale Francisco, actor Chris Mitchum, and former congressional aid Justin Fareed. The open primary in June will give the top two voter-getters, regardless of party affiliation, a chance to face off in November.