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Birthdate: Aug. 28, 1952
Birth Place: Aiken, SC, United States
Residence: Oak Park, CA
District: District 26
Undergraduate: George Washington University
Graduate: American University
Julia Brownley was born in Aiken, S.C., and currently resides in Oak Park, Calif. She received a bachelor's degree in political science from George Washington University and a master's degree in business administration from American University.
After suspending a career in business, she turned to her passion, education, first as a school volunteer and later as a PTA president. She served three terms as board president of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.
Brownley was elected in 2006 to the California Assembly, where she headed the Education Committee. She is ineligible to seek re-election to the California Assembly in 2012 due to term limits.
She is divorced and has two grown children.
Julia Brownley, boosted by more than $700,000 from a Democratic super political action committee, survived a challenging June 2012 primary for California's 26th Congressional District seat. She will face Republican Tony Strickland in the November general election.
The seat is left open by the pending retirement of Republican Rep. Elton Gallegly.
Brownley, a member of the state Assembly, represents one of the Democratic Party's best chances of flipping a seat in California, and the race could factor into Democratic chances of reclaiming a majority in the House in 2012.
The newly redrawn 26th Congressional District, which runs from the tiny Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks through strawberry and avocado fields in Ventura County to working-class Hispanic neighborhoods in Oxnard, has produced one of the most competitive races in California. Registration is closely divided with Democrats holding a narrow edge.
Brownley says on her campaign website that she will push for investments in infrastructure to help create jobs.
On education, she says, "I have dedicated most of my career to improving our schools, colleges and universities because I believe in a brighter future for California's kids." She called for expanded access to college and careers.
Strickland, a veteran politician, is a conservative whose numerous campaigns for local and statewide offices have made his name familiar to voters in the area.
Independent candidate Linda Parks failed in her bid to get into the November race, but she picked up nearly two of every 10 votes in her June 2012 primary bid. That represents the largest chunk of voters up for grabs in November, and the two major party candidates have been depicting each other as extremists out of touch with Main Street values in the district.
Brownley's organization has attacked Strickland's "radical" agenda, saying he would pamper corporations at the expense of working Californians. She's depicted him as a foot soldier in Mitt Romney's presidential campaign who, she said, would threaten Social Security and Medicare, reproductive rights, education dollars and the middle class.
Strickland has labeled Brownley an outsider _ she was a longtime Santa Monica resident until moving to Oak Park in the center of the district in 2012 _ who would be an acolyte of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. "An LA liberal for Ventura County?" one Strickland advertisement asks.
Source: Associated Press
113th Congress on Twitter
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