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Longtime Santa Barbara Congresswoman Gets Early Opponent In 2014 Election

Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 12:36am

It’s only been weeks since she took the oath of office for a new term, but a congresswoman representing the South Coast already has her first declared challenger in 2014.

Businessman Paul Coyne of Santa Maria says he’ll challenge Democratic Congresswoman Lois Capps of Santa Barbara for the 24th District seat. Coyne is a bank manager who hasn’t held a political office before, but says he’s running because the thinks it’s time for a change.

He says he’s concerned with what he says is runaway federal spending, and increasing debt, and the failure of both parties to control it. The 49 year old Santa Barbara County native, and UC Santa Barbara graduate describes himself as a conservative Democrat.

Capps has been the representative for the district, which includes parts of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties for 15 years. The 75 year old congresswoman hasn’t announced whether she’ll run again in 2014.

Last year, she defeated Republican challenger, and former state Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado to keep the seat.

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