Your guide to California’s Congressional District 26 race: Rep. Julia Brownley vs. Matt Jacobs
The battle for California Congressional District 26 — the seat left vacant by House Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee after her defeat last November — is being closely fought by two formidable candidates.
Rep. Julia Brownley, D-West Hollywood, and Matt Jacobs, former chief of staff to the House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, are the two candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination for California’s 26th Congressional District.
While Brownley has a substantial national network of elected officials, including the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., Jacobs has been able to make a deep impact on local politics, raising $9 million in small donations and gathering grassroots opposition to Jacobs’ campaign for over 20 years.
Brownley, a veteran of the California Legislature, who now owns a successful real estate brokerage and management firm, is seeking to turn her background into a statewide career that will position her for a successful congressional campaign.
“I am excited about my campaign to be the first and only First Lady of California,” Brownley said.
“For a woman, politics is not new to me. I was elected to the House (of Representatives) in a special election to fill a vacancy caused by the retirement of Barbara Lee. It was clear that I would have to put my career aside in order to return home and campaign in order to defeat Matt Jacobs’ destructive brand of politics.”
Jacobs, who grew up in a working class family and attended private schools in the district, had no formal political training. But he was able to make a lasting impact on local politics in his 20-year tenure working for Pelosi, then-Speaker of the House, and then-House Majority Leader.
Despite his relatively recent political ascent, Jacobs has been able to raise about $9 million in small donations and has the backing of many local political bosses, such as the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, former City Council President Herb Wesson; the former Los Angeles County Supervisor, Bob Blumenfield, who once ran for Congress himself in 2010 and was