On June 7, Californians will make a number of political decisions including who should be on the November presidential ballot, who will replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer, and whether the state constitution should be amended so members of the legislature can be suspended without salary and benefits (Prop 50).
For Madera County residents, the ballot will include races for Congress and State Assembly, as well as a $485 million bond to provide increased funds to the State Center Community College District, which includes the Oakhurst campus.
Below is a summary of these races, and how they may affect Madera County.
NOTE: Nearly all quoted statements, unless otherwise noted, are from the Consolidated Presidential Primary Election Sample Ballot & Voter Information Guide.
U.S. Congress, District 4
In the race for California’s 4th Congressional District, which contains portions of Madera County, all of Mariposa County, and others, incumbent Republican Tom McClintock faces off against challenging Democrats Bob Derlet and Sean White.
McClintock, from Elk Grove, has served the district since 2009 after previously holding office as a California State Senator from 2000 to 2008.
In his candidate statement, McClintock said he will continue his fight against what he said was an “all-powerful government that commands our economic decisions.”
“You sent me to Washington to fight to restore the freedom that made America great,” McClintock said. “And I am doing everything in my power to do so.”
Bob Derlet, a physician and professor emeritus at UC Davis, who lives in Tuolumne County, said in his statement he will work to ease the “pain and suffering” from the growing costs of housing, groceries, and other concerns.
“If elected, I’ll fight to keep Social Security and Medicare for the people and away from Wall Street privatization,” Derlet said. “I’ll back measures for local control of water rights, prioritize clean water standards by protecting our High Sierra forests and watershed, and fight to enact measures to halt global warming.”
White, a solar contractor and author, did not provide a statement in the sample ballot. On his website, White points to money corrupting the political process, and encourages the public to vote for those who aren’t “bought” by the system.
For information, visit www.tommclintock.com, www.derletforcongress.com, or www.seanwhite.org.
State Assembly, District 5
Up for reelection in California’s Assembly District 5 is former Madera County Supervisor and District 5 incumbent Republican Frank Bigelow, an O’Neals resident who took office in 2012. He is being challenged by Independent Mark Belden and Democrats Kai Ellsworth and Robert Carabas.
Bigelow, a longtime rancher and businessman, said in his candidate statement he’s going to continue his fight for smaller state government, additional water storage, and children’s education.
“I’d be honored with your trust and your vote to continue our fight for local jobs, increased water storage for our communities and to deliver an education that prepares students to compete in today’s economy,” Bigelow said.
Belden, a businessman from Calaveras County who describes himself as socially moderate and fiscally conservative, said in his statement he will proudly support personal freedoms, whether firearms or sexual orientation, as well as reduce government spending.
“Like many of you, I am committed to reducing government waste, stretching each tax dollar further than it has ever been before,” Belden said.
Carabas, a Sonora resident, said among his main goals are a $15 minimum wage, fighting global warming and instituting a single payer healthcare system in California.
“I hate seeing money wasted,” Carabas said. “Other industrial nations provide healthcare to all their citizens and get better results at half the cost.”
Kai Ellsworth, an Air Force veteran who was deployed to Iraq, did not provide a statement for the sample ballot but pointed to increased funding for education, public safety, and infrastructure as goals on his website.
“We all know that our schools, our public safety services, and our infrastructure are all too often lacking,” Ellsworth said. “These are all important issues, but they don’t exist in a vacuum. They all contribute to a lack of opportunity for our communities, especially for our young people.”
For information, visit www.frankbigelow.com, www.mcbelden.com, www.robertcarabas.com, or www.kaiellsworth.com.
A significant bond measure on the ballot is Measure C, which seeks voter approval of a $485 million bond for the State Center Community College District allocated to much-needed repairs and upgrades of aging facilities, as well as construction of new ones.
In the bond, improvements are listed for the district’s three schools and three centers, including $25 million earmarked for a permanent Oakhurst facility to replace the seven portable buildings on 2.7 acres at Crane Valley Road (426) and Civic Lane.
To fund the bond, property taxes would increase for voters in the district by $18.50 a year, per each $100,000 of a home’s value. Thus, a home valued at $200,000 would pay an additional $37 a year in taxes.
Supporters of the bond, including teachers, public safety officials, healthcare, community and business leaders, say those costs are minimal, and will help fund new programs catered more to each campus, such as forestry sciences in the Mountain Area. No argument against the measure was submitted, though some have been critical of the measure because there’s no specific language in the bond to ensure the $25 million goes to Oakhurst.
* More details are available by visiting this link: http://goo.gl/BeLrSx (capitalization necessary).
* For information on State Proposition 50, which would allow both the State Senate and Assembly to vote on suspending members without pay or benefits, go here: https://goo.gl/zoV4GO.
* For more information on 34 Senate candidates and other issues, visit here: http://goo.gl/7QgkJO.
* The Madera County Clerk-Recorder’s Office can be reached at (559) 675-7724.