Campaigning for Assembly district 37 to replace Audra Strickland is a Navy Reservist Commander named Jeff Gorell.
With experience as a successful small business owner, university professor, county criminal prosecutor, naval intelligence officer, war veteran, and former aide to the Governor, Jeff Gorell has amassed a broad spectrum of public and private sector experience that will serve us well as our next State Assembly Member. His background has given him a unique understanding of the issues concerning California and the right vision to make sure our state government works for our local community, not the other way around.
Today, Jeff is a co-owner of a growing regional public affairs firm, Paladin Principle LLC, based in Ventura County. He manages employees, balances a budget, advises clients and serves as the company’s legal counsel. Jeff is also currently a member of the California Lutheran University faculty, teaching undergraduate and graduate level politics and public policy as an adjunct professor.
Jeff’s family has passed the value of public service from generation to generation. A third generation navy man, Jeff is proud to be a veteran of a foreign war and currently serves as a Lt. Commander in the United States Navy Reserve. Within days of Sept 11, 2001, Jeff was recalled to active duty to support Operation Enduring Freedom and served for one year forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf and Afghanistan. He was decorated for leadership and meritorious actions in a combat zone. He led multiple teams of combat cameramen into the mountains of Afghanistan to embed with small Special Forces teams as they captured enemy weapons caches and fought the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorists. Jeff is the grandson of a “Seabee” who served in Guam during World War II, and the son of a career naval officer and Vietnam veteran.
As a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Ventura from 1999-2006, Jeff developed an insight into preventing youth violence and keeping our community safe for our families. He served as a trial prosecutor in the major narcotics and violent felony units, prosecuting multiple “strike” career criminals, gang violence and drug trafficking. He also drafted and advocated for legislation on behalf of prosecutors statewide to improve the California Penal Code.
Jeff is a firm believer in a bi-partisan, “can-do” approach to government. He has served the public in many capacities, working with both Democrats and Republicans to improve the quality of life for his fellow citizens. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for American Red Cross, Ventura County Chapter. In 1997, Jeff was appointed by the late Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna to the board of directors for Paratranist, Inc., a municipally charted organization designed to provide comprehensive transportation services to Sacramento’s elderly and disabled community.
From 1993 to 1996, Jeff served as an advisor to former Republican Governor Pete Wilson. As a writer and deputy press secretary to the governor, Jeff was able to see how involving the public in the process of government could bring about good policy. He helped the Administration develop its message for such important state policy changes as “Three Strikes,” state welfare reform, manufacturers’ investment tax credits, “Megan’s Law,” and class size reduction.
Jeff left the Administration to serve as a spokesperson for numerous California businesses. As Director of Communications for the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) from 1996 to 1999, Jeff learned firsthand how businesses could be good corporate citizens in California and in local communities. He advocated before the legislature and Capitol press corps for pro-business legislation in the areas of taxes, regulations, workers compensation, tort reform, and trade law.
Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in History from U.C. Davis and his Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He also has earned a certificate in international law from the University of Salzburg, Austria, where he studied under Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Jeff lives in Camarillo with his wife Laura and eight-year-old daughter Ashley and his one year old son Jack.
He’s running against perpetual candidate, progressive Democrat Ferial Masry. I say “perpetual” as she seems to always be running (and losing) for something, anything, to get her hooks into politics. Hopefully this race her loss will be no exception to the norm.