Lois Capps, a leader of the pro-choice community in Congress, is running in California's 24th Congressional District (most of Ventura, inland Santa Barbara counties). Due to recent redistricting, she has chosen not to run for re-election in the 23rd Congressional District. She has been a member of Congress since March, 1998, succeeding her late husband, former University of California, Santa Barbara professor Walter Capps. In addition to reproductive rights, Capps has dedicated her career to advancing health care and environmental protections.
Prospects and Opponent: Capps is running against Republican former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado. Although Maldonado has lost two state elections in the past, this election has been marked as a race to watch. After winning the primary election, Capps has gained momentum in the race and is favored to win.
Background and Legislative Achievements: Before beginning her tenure in the House of Representatives, Capps worked 20 years as a nurse and public health advocate for the Santa Barbara School District. In addition to her nursing degree, she has a M.A. in Religion from Yale University and an M.A. in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her time in the House, she:
- Supported historic health insurance reform.
- Spearheaded the Nurse Reinvestment Act, addressing the nursing shortage.
- Championed the Violence Against Women Act.
- Wrote the HEART for Women Act.
- Co-Chaired the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues.
- Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Nursing Caucus.
- Honorary Vice-Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus.
- Champions environmental protection legislation and is a member of the powerful Committee on Energy and Commerce overseeing healthcare, energy, and environmental protection.
- Co-Chair of the House Cancer Caucus.
Other Endorsements: EMILY's List, WCF, FemPAC