Quick Run-Down on the 26th

May 29, 2006 at 1:26 am | In CA-26 | Comments Off on Quick Run-Down on the 26th

From the Southern California News:

Sebastian “Sonny” Sardo is one of two Republicans who hope to beat Dreier in next month’s primary. Sardo lives outside of the 26th District but owns an interior design business in La Canada-Flintridge, which is within the boundaries.

Sardo, 56, stated the main issue of his campaign is illegal immigration, saying it affects nearly every aspect of his district.

He said the government needs to close the border to illegal immigrants.

“If you told anyone on Sept. 10, 2001, that we would ground every plane in America on Sept. 11, no one would have believed it,” said Sardo, who has raised $29,000. “Heaven forbid a suitcase bomb comes across the border. Suddenly there wouldn’t be one illegal getting across the border. We have the national might. We don’t have the national will.”

The other Republican candidate in the race, Melvin “Mel” Milton, has raised no money. He too is campaigning on stricter border enforcement.

A 63-year-old aircraft mechanic from Walnut, Milton walks the district every night after he returns home from work.

“I get the occasional door-slammer; it’s sort of discouraging,” Milton said. “But the next lady will be really nice so I just keep going.”

In 2004, Dreier won the election with 54 percent of the vote — the narrowest win by any incumbent member of Congress from California.

His Democrat opponent in that 2004 election, Cynthia Matthews, is running again.

“I was the Democrat who got the closest out of anyone who ran against him in the past 26 years,” said Matthews, 42, of Upland. “I’m here to finish the job.”

As of March 31, she had raised $516 but had nearly $29,000 in the bank, according to federal campaign finance documents.

Democrat Hoyt Hilsman, a screenwriter, freelance journalist and college professor, said he considers himself the stealth candidate in the 26th District race.

In order to beat Dreier, Hilsman, 57, of San Marino, first must win next month against Matthews and the race’s other Democrat, Russ Warner. Warner, who owns a magazine-distribution business, by March 31 had raised the most of any of his opponents besides Dreier, taking in nearly $170,000. Dreier had raised nearly $1.2 million.

Warner, who has never run for office, got the idea after a long heart-to-heart talk with his son, who had returned from a 17-month stint with the Army in Iraq.

“It’s been a blast,” Warner, 56, from Rancho Cucamonga, said about campaigning.

Elliott Graham, an American Independent Party candidate from Glendale, and Ted Brown, a Libertarian candidate from San Gabriel, also are running in the 26th District race.

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