Local candidates elaborate why they deserve your votes

Months of fundraisers, walks and campaign events are all coming to an end—this Tuesday, November 6, the polling places and ballot boxes are back in circulation for the United States’ next general election. With the state of California an area of contentment along all party lines, it just might be one of the most important elections this country has seen in decades. And with California’s newly-drawn Senate, congressional and Assembly districts, candidates have been hard at work convincing voters that they are the most fitting for the districts’ new representation.

Days before the election, the COURIER went right to the source and asked the candidates to tell our readers why they should be voting for them in this Tuesday’s general election.

Chris Holden (D) for 41st Assembly District

I want to thank the editors for the opportunity to talk about why I’m running for the State Assembly.

I am a product of the Foothills – I grew up here, manage a small business and raise a family here. I also serve as a city councilmember for Pasadena.

I have used my experience to promote initiatives that have created jobs and helped improve our region’s economy.

For example, I played a leadership role in managing city planning that helped revitalize downtown Pasadena, responding to the needs of small businesses.

I was an advocate for the expansion of the Metro Gold Line, giving commuters an alternative to our roads and highways.

I worked to encourage start-up businesses, including helping set up a biotech corridor with Caltech and Huntington.

I know first-hand that government can make positive things happen when it listens and supports sound local ideas.

Like many citizens, I look to Sacramento and see a system that is broken. We see more political posturing than a real commitment to results.

I’m running for State Assembly because we need a commitment to finding solutions that work.

That means working to create jobs, helping small businesses and promoting economic growth. That means ensuring that our schools have the support they need to educate our kids, and helping middle-class families afford the rising cost of college.

That means working intently to place our state on sound financial footing.

The views and perspectives of people in the San Gabriel Valley will guide my work. I know that local solutions are often the best.

Let’s face it. We need our state government to get back to the basics, with a focus on commonsense solutions that work for California’s families. That will be my approach in the State Assembly.


Donna Lowe (R) for 41st Assembly District

Every day for the last 13 months, my campaign and I have been working tirelessly to represent the people of the 41st Assembly district. Going door-to-door, I have heard the real concerns of my constituents and it has impassioned me to take their fight to Sacramento.

The way that my opponent and I have run our campaigns is diametrically opposite. My staff and I have knocked on 35,000 doors, made over 30,000 phone calls, sent over 36,000 emails, deployed over 2,500 yard signs and have posted 1,870 tweets. On the other hand, my opponent, feeling secure in his small registration advantage, seemed to rank actually connecting with voters a very low priority.

Simply-put, my opponent views this Assembly seat as just another rung on his climb up the political ladder.

I do not.

I wake up every morning excited to connect with voters. I am determined to save this state from fiscal collapse. I am committed to ending the mass exodus of businesses from our state. We need to entice the businesses to return so they employ our citizens, not legislate their failure.

The Pasadena Star and The Inland Daily Bulletin have endorsed me because they know that at the end of the day, I will be working hard to do the best that I can for the 41st and California, not my political career.

This district is my home. I am raising my family in Claremont, my children attend Condit elementary school, my husband and I work here and pay a mortgage here. I love this area, and I think its residents deserve the absolute best representative in Sacramento, one that works just as hard as they do. I believe that I am that representative and that I have worked hard to earn your vote this November 6th.


Judy Chu (D) incumbent for 27th Congressional District

When we cast a ballot, we entrust candidates to fight for our needs and stand by our values.  I am honored to have served the San Gabriel Valley as an elected official for over 26 years.  I ask for your vote again this year so I can continue that work.

In Congress, I fought to safeguard and improve our education system because it is the best pathway to a prosperous future.  I’ve introduced several bills supporting our students, like the Education for Tomorrow’s Jobs Act, which provides grant funding to ensure kids are fully prepared for college or a career after high school.  Additionally, I worked to make college more affordable, and voted for the largest expansion of Pell Grants ever.

I also worked hard for the infrastructure our community needs.  I strongly support the Gold Line extension, and will continue fighting for funding to extend it to Claremont and beyond to the Ontario Airport.  And as train traffic may grow by 160 percent by 2020, I fought for federal funding to complete the Alameda Corridor East Project, which improves safety at 39 rail crossings, minimizing the impact of train traffic on our community.

Lastly, throughout these difficult economic times, I have delivered for local businesses and jobseekers.  I held workshops for small business owners on increasing economic opportunities through exports and government contracts, and served as a liaison between the Small Business Administration and local entrepreneurs.  Just last week, I held my third Jobs Boot Camp to provide jobseekers with valuable resources and training to secure their next job.

I am proud of my service to the San Gabriel Valley, but there is still so much to be done.  I ask for your vote on November 6th, so I can continue fighting for your priorities in Congress.

Jack Orswell (R), candidate for 27th Congressional District

I believe that my 15 years of government experience in the FBI and 22 years as the owner of a small business uniquely qualifies me to understand the appropriate role and relationship of government in the lives of the American people. I will use my government and private industry experience, leadership skills and solid moral compass to break through the political logjam and get the members of Congress working together for America. The result will be a government that is re-focused on the interests of its citizens, not on those of self-serving politicians.

Congress needs to encourage entrepreneurs and innovators to build upon their dreams through small business loans and by reducing the rules and regulations that make it difficult for businesses to obtain capital. We have always been a nation of creativity and self-improvement and it is small business, not big government that will create jobs and get America back to work.

I am not seeking office to be like “others” in Washington. I am seeking office to change the way things have been done in the past and to represent the voice of the people. In past elections, it is clear to me that money usually has determined the outcome, significantly reducing or marginalizing the voice of the people. We have to bring back an election system whereby candidates are selected by the people, not the special-interest groups with the most money.

In this difficult economic climate I will work diligently to remove barriers to economic growth and new job creation. We can change things for the better. Working together, we can build a better America.  Please go to my website, JackOrswell.com for more information. On November 6th, please vote for me, Jack Orswell, for United States Congress.  Thank you.


Carol Liu (D), Incumbent for 25th Senate District

Thanks to redistricting, I’m getting to know some great new communities.  For those still getting to know me, I’m a fifth-generation Californian on my mom’s side.  But I’m also the daughter of a first-generation immigrant who succeeded in the classic California way:  through hard work and public education.

So it’s no surprise that I grew up to be a schoolteacher, school administrator and PTA mom.  My passion for public education drew me to politics.  And that’s still my passion today.

I served as a local mayor and was the only Democrat on my city council.  So I know how bi-partisanship should work.  

Together, we balanced the budget, found sensible ways to support our schools, helped local businesses prosper, and preserved open space.

I am still committed to working in that same co-operative spirit in the Legislature.  Even amid today’s fierce partisanship, there are moments of bi-partisan accomplishment, like recent bills to reform public pensions, strengthen worker’s compensation, and stop frivolous lawsuits against small businesses.  In the district, we have built consensus on key issues, like extending the Metro Gold Line.

Many of my own bills have enjoyed bi-partisan support, including those to protect seniors and the disabled from abuse, promote career and technical education, protect consumers, help small businesses, and improve community college student access.

Still, there’s no denying that gridlock and frustration have hurt California and made the recession’s damage worse.

In particular, our public schools, community colleges, and universities have been devastated.  We simply cannot afford more cuts.  That’s why I strongly support Proposition 30 on Tuesday’s ballot.

Reviving our economy, reversing the damage to our schools, and rebuilding California’s infrastructure are my highest priorities. I believe I have the track record, experience, and skills to help find sensible solutions.  I would be honored to have your vote.


Gil Gonzales (R), candidate for 25th Senate District

I admit I’m not a typical political candidate. I don’t come from wealth or privilege – I grew up surrounded by gangs and poverty. I want to renew our focus on the power of education, job creation and public service. I wish all of our legislators in Sacramento could have been raised like I was, by two sets of grandparents. If so, they would have an ability to put you, the constituents, first before their self-interest. My campaign for State Senate is to unseat power, privilege and partisanship and replace those political missteps with the people’s values: public service, and progress. Sacramento needs to wake up and realize money comes from hard working taxpayers who believe that substantial fiscal reform is the path to economic stability. California was once the Golden State where opportunities were plentiful and I will put us on the right track.

I learned the value of hard work from my grandparents. My rise from poverty has taught me that education can provide opportunity for everyone. The bottom line is that we need economic renewal and our state government has not gotten that message. Most importantly, the lessons I learned from ending the cycle of poverty within my own family are the basis of my platform: 1) create jobs and opportunity, 2) emphasize education and self-reliance, and 3) restore community service and accountability. Government must provide practical solutions to bring California back from the brink. Like many Californians who struggle daily, I want leadership that will work tirelessly to find common ground with both Republicans and Democrats. With your vote, we can get started on this new path together. I humbly ask for your vote on November 6th.

Election day is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. To locate your polling place, visit http://lavote.net/Locator/ or check your voter guide.

—Beth Hartnett



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