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Ventura County Supervisor Jeff Gorell loses to James Van Bramer

Ventura County Supervisor Jeff Gorell loses to James Van Bramer

After last-minute alarm, Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley hangs on to Ventura County seat

Ventura County Supervisor Jeff Gorell. Credit: Courtesy of Ventura County Supervisor Jeff Gorell via YouTube.

Updated Feb. 4:

Ventura County Supervisor Jeff Gorell came one vote away from becoming the first Democrat to represent Ventura County in the Legislature since 1982. (The Legislature will convene Wednesday, and Gov. Jerry Brown likely will appoint three Democrats to serve out the rest of the term.)

Gorell, who faced a late-breaking challenge from former Assemblyman James Van Bramer, was just short of meeting the constitutional deadline for election certification by late Monday afternoon. As he waited in line to vote at the county clerk’s office in Ventura, a volunteer helped Gorell find a parking space.

Gorell’s loss had been predicted by both Democrats and Republicans as the primary election drew near.

“We’re all very disappointed,” said Assembly Minority Leader Andy Vidak, D-Pomona. “It’s the result of having a strong candidate and running a very strong campaign. It’s a result of having a strong campaign and unfortunately being the second candidate in the primary.”

Gorell was on the ballot in California’s March primary. He had been expected to face Van Bramer, a former state senator and attorney, who has emerged as the top Democratic contender.

As the vote approached, Van Bramer — who spent most of the primary campaign aggressively attacking Gorell, calling him a “career politician” who’s “just one more career politician” — and his campaign staff attempted to dissuade voters from voting for Gorell.

Van Bramer said he planned to hold a “day of action” this week in order to convince voters to vote for someone else. He even held a meeting in Costa Mesa — Gorell’s home base in western Ventura County — with supporters who made a forceful case against his opponent.

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