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Capps faces ag man

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Though virtually anyone who pays attention to local media already knew that Victor Tognazzini was eyeing Lois Capps’s 23rd congressional seat for the upcoming election, the general manager of Tri-Valley Vegetable Harvesting held a small press conference at the Santa Maria Inn on March 10 to formally announce his candidacy.
 In front of about 30 supporters and media members, Tognazzini said he decided to run because of the vast amount of encouragement he’s received from the community.

 Tognazzini—who’s also involved with leadership for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, the Santa Barbara County Foodbank, the Orcutt Children’s Arts Foundation, and other groups—said that he believes Capps is a nice person, though he mentioned that he never hears that she’s a good leader in this “most egregiously gerrymandered district.�

 When asked about future visions for that district, which includes portions of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties, Tognazzini said that he wants to “go into listening mode,� citing the fact that he gets his best ideas from forklift drivers and broccoli pickers.
 More specifically, he spoke of revamping the idea of “No Child Left Behind,� which was good in theory, he said, but lost something in its implementation in schools.

Tognazzini then quickly noted that he doesn’t think throwing more money at the problem is the answer.

 “We need to learn to live within our means in all areas,� he said.
 Capps has served as congresswoman since 1998, when she succeeded her late husband, Walter Capps, who represented the 22nd District. In 2003, her district was re-drawn to become the 23rd District.

 Capps is the only Democrat heading into the June primary, while Tognazzini faces fellow Republican William Levison of Arroyo Grande.

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