Jeff Gorell

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Jeff Gorell
California State Assembly Member Jeff Gorell.jpg
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 44th district
Assumed office
December 3, 2012
Preceded by Anthony Portantino
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 37th district
In office
December 6, 2010 – November 30, 2012
Preceded by Audra Strickland
Succeeded by Das Williams
Personal details
Born (1970-11-06) November 6, 1970 (age 43)
Alexandria, Virginia
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Laura
Children Ashley
Residence Camarillo, California
Alma mater University of California, Davis
Profession Attorney
Business Owner
University Professor
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1999-present
Rank Lieutenant CommanderUS-O4 insignia.svg
Unit United States Navy Reserve
Battles/wars Afghanistan War
Awards Defense Meritorious Service ribbon.svg Defense Meritorious Service Medal[1]
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation ribbon.svgNavy Commendation Medal[2]
Navy Expeditionary ribbon.svgNavy Expeditionary Medal[2]

Jeff Frederick Gorell (b. November 6, 1970) is a Republican politician from California and candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in California's 26th Congressional District. In 2010, Gorell was elected to the State Legislature to serve as Assembly Member for the 37th Assembly District in California. After the decennial redistricting in 2011, Gorell was reelected to represent the new 44th Assembly District and currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee.[3]

Early life, education, and military service[edit]

Gorell earned his Bachelors of Arts degree in history, at the University of California, Davis in 1992. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree in law, at University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law in 1998, and earned a certificate in international legal studies at University of Salzburg studying under Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Anthony Kennedy.[4]

A third generation Navy man, Gorell serves as a Commander in the United States Navy Reserve. Within days of the September 11 attacks in 2001 he was recalled to active duty to support Operation Enduring Freedom and served for one year forward deployed to the Persian 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. Gorell 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.[5]

Commander Gorell was mobilized for his second tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in March 2011. He was embedded with U.S. Marines as an intelligence officer at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand, Afghanistan. He returned home and to his work in the State Legislature in March 2012.[6]

Business career[edit]

Prior to his election to the California State Assembly, Gorell was a co-owner of a regional public affairs firm, Paladin Principle LLC, based in Ventura County. He advised clients and served as the company’s legal counsel. He is also a member of the California Lutheran University faculty, teaching undergraduate and graduate level politics and public policy as an adjunct professor.[5]

Early political career (1993-1999)[edit]

From 1993 to 1996, Gorell served as an advisor, writer and deputy press secretary to former Republican Governor Pete Wilson, working on state policy changes as "Three Strikes," state welfare reform, manufacturers' investment tax credits, "Megan’s Law," and class size reduction.[5]

Gorell left the Wilson Administration to serve as a spokesperson for various California businesses, including as Director of Communications for the California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) from 1996 to 1999. 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.[5]

Deputy District Attorney (1999-2006)[edit]

As a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Ventura from 1999–2006, Gorell gained experience in preventing youth violence. 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.[5]

California Assembly (2010-Present)[edit]


Gorell defeated Robert Howell in the June 8, 2010 Primary Election earning 89% of the vote.[7] He then defeated Democrat Ferial Masry in the November 2 general election.[8]

Gorell was the only Republican running for Assembly at the time to receive an endorsement from the California Federation of Labor, one of the state's prominent labor unions.[9] On October 9, 2010, Gorell was endorsed by the Ventura County Star newspaper.[10]

Just before the November 2 General Election, Gorell announced that he was being mobilized for duty by the United States Navy Reserve, and would be deployed to Afghanistan on March 18, 2011.[11]

In the state's first primary election under the new top-two open primary on June 5th, 2012, Gorell received 58.1% of the vote, beating Eileen MacEnery who received 23.3% of the vote and Thomas Mullens who received 18.6% of the vote. In the November 6th General Election, Gorell went on to defeat MacEnery after receiving 52.9% of the vote.[12]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Accountability and Administrative Review
  • Budget (Vice-chair)
  • Judiciary
  • Labor and Employment
  • Utilities and Commerce
  • Legislative Budget[13]

2014 congressional election[edit]

In November 2013, Gorell announced he would challenge Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Julia Brownley for California's 26th congressional district, based in Ventura County.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Jeff Gorell resides in Camarillo with his wife, Laura, and three children, step-daughter Ashley and sons Jack and Steven.[5][4]


External links[edit]