Rep. Elton Gallegly (R)
Elected: 1986, 12th term.
Born: March 7, 1944, Huntington Park .
Home: Simi Valley.
Education: Los Angeles St. Col., 1962-63.
Family: Married (Janice); 4 children.
Elected office: Simi Valley City Cncl., 1979–80; Simi Valley mayor, 1980–86.
Professional Career: Owner, real estate firm.
The congressman from the 24th District is Elton Gallegly, a Republican first elected in 1986. Gallegly (GAL-eh-glee) grew up in the working-class suburb of Huntington Park in Los Angeles County, the son of Dust Bowl migrants from Oklahoma who resettled in California. He dropped out of college and became a real estate broker, then started his own successful real estate business. In 1979, he was elected to the Simi Valley City Council and a year later became mayor. He built his campaign for the U.S. House on his record on economic development for Simi Valley. In the Republican primary, he ran against Tony Hope, son of comedian and actor Bob Hope, and won. He went on to win the general election overwhelmingly.
|Elton Gallegly (R)||174,492||(58%)||($737,060)|
|Marta Ann Jorgensen (D)||125,560||(42%)||($11,927)|
|Elton Gallegly (R)||45,124||(77%)|
|Michael Tenenbaum (R)||13,446||(23%)|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (62%), 2004 (63%), 2002 (65%), 2000 (54%), 1998 (60%), 1996 (60%), 1994 (66%), 1992 (54%), 1990 (58%), 1988 (69%), 1986 (68%)
Gallegly has a moderate-to-conservative voting record and has played a mostly backstage role on major issues. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, he has been one of the Republican hard-liners on the issue of illegal immigration in recent years. He once proposed that public schools be given the option of turning away the children of illegal immigrants because of the cost of educating them. He also advocated a constitutional amendment to deny citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants, an end to welfare for illegal aliens and a tamperproof identification card for immigrants. In 2007, he sponsored a bill to require the Internal Revenue Service to report people suspected of working illegally in the United States to the Homeland Security Department.
Gallegly passed up several opportunities to chair a Judiciary subcommittee and declined to serve as a House manager during the Senate impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. He was more interested in becoming chairman of the Natural Resources Committee. But in 2003, Republican leaders passed over Gallegly and other more senior Republicans to give the gavel to Richard Pombo of California, a favorite of Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Gallegly was passed over again in 2009 for the top Republican slot on the committee, which went to Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington state. His treatment by the leadership contributed to Gallegly’s decision to retire from the House in 2006. But he was persuaded to stay by contrite Republican leaders, who faced a tough battle for control of the House that year and did not want another open seat to defend.
Gallegly is ranking Republican on the Europe Subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee. In 2004, he was able to pass a resolution calling on the United Nations to respond to the threat that Burma posed to Southeast Asia. Locally, he had helped to save the Point Mugu Navy base, threatened with closure in 1996. He worked to get a wing of 16 E-2 radar planes assigned there, as well as two new C-130s that would be used to fight forest fires.
In 2003, Gallegly spent a few days campaigning for governor in the recall election, but withdrew because he lacked statewide name recognition. In his re-election campaign in 2008, Democratic challenger Marta Jorgensen accused him of ignoring the district, but she spent less than $12,000 compared with Gallegly’s $737,000, and he won 58%-42%. His earlier inclination to retire from Congress, plus Democratic aspirations, could make this district a target for redistricters in 2011.