By Logan Hall
Ventura County District 1 Supervisor Steve Bennett announced his plan to run for the 26th Congressional District seat in 2012. After serving the county for more than 10 years as supervisor, Bennett has set his sights on Congress.
A former educator who taught at Nordhoff High School for 20 years, Bennett says he wants to see the country start moving in the right direction. “We really need to avoid this gridlock that’s happening in the government right now,” he said. “We need to be focusing on actually getting proposals that make common sense and start moving this country forward.”
The focus of his campaign, so far, seems to gravitate around setting solid, tangible goals that can be implemented with as little red tape as possible. “We really need common-sense leadership that can take on things like job availability,” he said. “The current ideology is paralyzing so much action.”
In a press release from the county, Bennett says the economy will be one of his main focuses if elected. “Getting our economy back on track should be the No. 1 priority of all national leaders,” he said. “Politicians who block job creation policies in order to advance a narrow electoral agenda are not the kind of leaders that Ventura County needs.”
Bennett believes that he has the political background necessary to take on the congressional position. “We have made major improvements in the fiscal health of Ventura County,” he said, “When I took office 10 years ago our reserves stood at zero and today they are 10.2 percent of our budget.”
One of the better-known projects that Bennett was involved in was the Ventura County Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources initiative, which according to Bennett’s press release, he co-authored with other county officials. The plan was put in place to try to help limit the county’s “urban sprawl” throughout the area. “We had the courage to make some tough votes that were not politically popular then, but are paying off now,” he said.
Bennett has an honors degree in economics from Brown University and a master’s degree in education from Butler University. He served on the Ventura City Council from 1993 to 1997 and taught U.S. history and economics at NHS from 1980 to 2000.