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
37th district (2010–2012)
In office
December 6, 2010 – November 30, 2014
Preceded by Audra Strickland
Succeeded by Jacqui Irwin
Personal details
Born (1970-11-06) November 6, 1970 (age 47)
Alexandria, Virginia
Political party Republican
Children Jack
Residence Camarillo, California
Alma mater University of California, Davis
Profession Attorney
Business Owner
University Professor
Awards Defense Meritorious Service Medal ribbon.svg Defense Meritorious Service Medal[1]
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Navy Commendation Medal[2]
Navy Expeditionary Medal ribbon.svg Navy Expeditionary Medal[2]
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1999-present
Rank Commander US-O5 insignia.svg
Unit Defense Intelligence Agency
Battles/wars Afghanistan War

Jeffrey Frederick Gorell (born November 6, 1970) is currently serving as Deputy Mayor of the City of Los Angeles for Homeland Security and Public Safety.[3] As Deputy Mayor he advises the Mayor on safety issues and oversees the departments of Police, Fire, and Emergency Management.[4] Gorell is a Republican politician from California and a former candidate for the 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 served as Vice-Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee.[5] Gorell, a Navy Reserve officer, is notable for being the first California legislator called to active duty since World War II. During his deployment, fourteen bills were sponsored in his name.[6]

Early life, education, and military service[edit]

Gorell earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of California, Davis in 1992. He obtained his Juris Doctor from the 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.[7][8]

A third generation member of the U.S. Navy, 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. He spent a one-year deployment in 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.[9]

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 California State Legislature in March 2012.[10]

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 was also a member of the California Lutheran University faculty, teaching undergraduate and graduate level politics and public policy as an adjunct professor.[9]

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 to develop the administration's message on such state policy changes as "Three Strikes," state welfare reform, manufacturers' investment tax credits, "Megan's Law," and class size reduction.[9]

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.[9]

Deputy District Attorney (1999-2006)[edit]

As a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Ventura from 1999–2006,[11] Gorell gained experience in preventing youth violence. He served as a trial prosecutor in the major narcotics, violent felony units, and juvenile crime units.[9]

California Assembly (2010-2014)[edit]



Gorell defeated Robert Howell in the June 8, 2010, primary election, earning 89% of the vote.[12] He then defeated Democrat Ferial Masry in the November 2 general election.[13]

Gorell was the only Republican running for Assembly in 2010 to receive an endorsement from the California Federation of Labor, one of the state's prominent labor unions. He also received the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce.[14][15] On October 9, 2010, Gorell was endorsed by the Ventura County Star newspaper.[16]

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. He noted that he would still be able to sponsor legislation, and that he would not be drawing an assembly salary while serving overseas. Once elected, he became the first California legislator called to active duty since World War II. The Camarillo Acorn reports that "Fourteen bills were introduced in Gorell's name while he was away, and six of those bills were co-authored by Democrats."[6][17]


In the state's first primary election under the new top-two open primary on June 5, 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 6, 2012, general election, Gorell went on to defeat MacEnery after receiving 52.9% of the vote.[15][18]


Gorell is considered a moderate Republican.[19][20] In early 2014, he introduced paperwork to begin a ballot measure that would end the high-speed rail development in California, arguing that "California cannot afford to pay for a high-speed train system that will cost more than $100 billion at a time when prisoners are being released from prisons and taxpayers are being asked to dig deeper into their own pockets to pay for basic service."[21]

In 2014, Gorell introduced the Drone Privacy Protection Bill, which would ban police drone spying without a warrant. The bill earned strong bi-partisan support and passed both houses of the California legislature in August 2014, but was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown, to many people's surprise.[22]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Accountability and Administrative Review
  • Budget (Vice-chair)
  • Judiciary
  • Labor and Employment
  • Utilities and Commerce
  • Legislative Budget[23][24]

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.[25] He and Brownley advanced past the June 3 blanket primary and faced each other in the general election.[26] The Cook Political Report rated the race a "Toss-up."[27]

According to Stuart Rothenberg of Roll Call, Gorell is a "self-described moderate Republican": pro-choice, believes the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, and supports immigration reform, including paths to citizenship for those already here.[15]

He was endorsed by former State Senator Tony Strickland.[28]

On the November 4 election, he lost to Brownley by a narrow margin.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Gorell resides in Camarillo, and has two young sons, Jack and Steven.[30]


  1. ^ "Anderson Kill Welcomes Home California State Assemblyman Jeff Gorell" (Press release). VCEDA. April 9, 2012. Retrieved 2014-08-23. 
  2. ^ a b [1] Archived July 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ California State Assembly Committee on Budget
  6. ^ a b Candidate for 37th Assembly District expects deployment to Afghanistan - VC-Star
  7. ^ Legislature is GOP candidate's aim - VC-Star
  8. ^ "Jeff Gorell Biography". Assemblyman Jeff Gorell. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Jeff Gorell | Biography
  10. ^ Gorell, Jeff (November 14, 2010). "New legislator must do his job while deployed in Afghanistan". Los Angeles Times. 
  11. ^ Kelly, Peggy (Feb 23, 2003). "Back from Afghanistan war duty, Gorell to seek state Assembly seat". Santa Paula Times. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-07-22. Retrieved 2010-08-21. 
  13. ^ [2] Archived November 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Swing State Project: DrPhillips' California State Legislature Forecast
  15. ^ a b c Rothenberg, Stuart (Apr 8, 2014). "Meet 3 Divergent House Candidates Worth Watching". Roll Call. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  16. ^ Editorial: 35th: Das Williams 37th: Jeff Gorell - VC-Star
  17. ^ Bitong, Anna (May 11, 2012). "Two challenge Gorell for Assembly seat". Camarillo Acorn. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  18. ^ Statewide Elections - Elections & Voter Information - California Secretary of State
  19. ^ Gonzales, Nathan (2014-08-26). "Top 5 Races to Watch in the West". Roll Call. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  20. ^ Orlov, Rick (9-3-2014). "Election 2014: Voter apathy in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles and South Bay makes campaigning an uphill climb". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 12 September 2014.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  21. ^ Miller, Jim (Jan 10, 2014). "California lawmaker files initiative to scrap high-speed rail". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  22. ^ [3]
  23. ^ Jeff Gorell - Ballotpedia
  24. ^ Van Oot, Torey (Jan 3, 2013). "Assembly Speaker Pérez announces committee lineups". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  25. ^ Jeff Gorell Running for Congress in CA-26CD Ventura County |
  26. ^ Cahn, Emily (Jun 4, 2014). "Primary Results: California House Races (Updated)". Roll Call. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  27. ^ "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS FOR AUGUST 8, 2014". Cook Political Report. Aug 8, 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  28. ^ Merl, Jean (Nov 25, 2013). "GOP Assemblyman Jeff Gorell to challenge Rep. Julia Brownley". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  29. ^ "Jeff Gorell concedes election to Julia Brownley for 26th Congressional District". Los Angeles Daily News. November 14, 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  30. ^ [4]

External links[edit]