Elton William Gallegly (born March 7, 1944) is the U.S. Representative for California's 24th congressional district, and previously the 23rd and 21st, serving in Congress since 1993. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education and career
Born in Huntington Park, California on March 7, 1944, Gallegly graduated from high school and attended California State University, Los Angeles but did not graduate. He worked as a real estate broker before entering politics. Gallegly is a former member of the Simi Valley, California City Council. He became Simi Valley's first elected mayor in 1982, a position that he held before the House.
U.S. House of Representatives
Representative Gallegly’s most recent activism has been focused on the issue of animal rights. Gallegly himself wrote a bill, enacted in 1999, which made it a federal crime to sell videos of dogfights and other depictions of animal violence. However, on April 20, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States, in an 8-1 ruling written by Chief Justice John Roberts, overturned Gallegly's law on the ground that the law violated the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, and created a "criminal prohibition of alarming breadth." In his defense, Representative Gallegly argued that the bill he wrote contained "exceptions for religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, and artistic expression [that] may have provided too many loopholes within the legislation. Bob Stevens was convicted of committing animal cruelty as defined by the law, but claimed that his rights to free speech and artistic expression protected him against prosecution." Representative Gallegly objected to Stevens’ defense, claiming that the videos “promote violence and, as such, are not protected by the Constitution.”
On March 10, 2006, Gallegly announced his intent to retire from the House of Representatives after the 2006 mid-term elections, citing health concerns. He had already filed nomination papers to seek another term, however, and attempted to have his name removed from the Republican primary ballot.
California election law, though, makes it clear that a candidate's name can only be withdrawn in the case of their death and, as a result, that Gallegly's name would have to remain on the ballot. The following week, after learning that he could not have his name removed from the ballot and that no new challengers would be allowed to enter the race, Gallegly changed his mind and decided to seek what he said would be his final term. In late April, 2007, however, Gallegly announced his intention to seek yet another term in 2008.
Gallegly was challenged by Republican Michael Tenenbaum in the June 2008 primary, which Gallegly won. The Democratic primary contained Mary Pallant, Jill Martinez, and Marta Jorgensen, won by Jorgensen. In the November general election Gallegly and Jorgensen faced off.
Gallegly won 58% to 42%.
Gallegly ran again for re-election in November 2010, beating back a challenge from Democratic candidate Tim Allison, a small-businessman and educator. The top 5 groups or industries that have contributed cash to Representative Gallegly's 2009/2010 campaign are: (1) Retirees: $39,484 (2) Real Estate: $35,578 (3) Lawyers/Law Firms: $29,374 (4) Pharmaceuticals: $22,500, and (5) Crop Production/Processing $20,179.
Gallegly is married to the former Janice Shrader, and has four children.
September 14th, 2011