Candidate Forum at May Monthly Meeting

The Lake San Marcos Democratic Club’s May monthly meeting focused on candidates running in the June 3rd primary in our local districts. Eight candidates spoke and those attending had a chance to ask questions at the end of each presentation. Many candidates mingled with members before and after the meeting time so it was a great opportunity to meet them all.

The first speaker was James Kimber, who is running in the 50th Congressional district against Duncan Hunter, Jr. He is currently polling higher than any of the last three candidates to challenge Hunter. He quoted Hunter as saying global warming will save lives because people get colds each year! Hunter also voted to support vets wanting to be able to smoke, and he also supports the use of nuclear weapons. Kimber noted that while he is fine with vets smoking, he does not support the use of nuclear weapons and is concerned about health care for vets.

James went on to explain where he currently stands with his campaign. “The DNC (Democratic National Committee) is hosting an event for me in Washington, DC on May 29th to help boost my fundraising. That’s how much they believe this race is winnable”, he explained. Cal State University San Marcos has agreed to host a debate between he and Duncan Hunter sponsored by The League of Women Voters and AAUW (American Association of University Women). Recent endorsements include the California Labor Federation and California Teachers Association.

Dave Peiser who is running in the 49th Congressional district against Darrell Issa said it is time to “fire Issa”. He spoke about his activities in the district for 25 years including starting several businesses, his support for unions, ad his commitment to safeguarding rights that were hard-won in the 1960’s. Peiser said Issa is a climate change denier, is against women’s rights, and against fair immigration reform. Dave has been working for several years advocating in Congress for a revenue neutral carbon tax. He said women’s rights is an obvious need as is equal pay for everyone. He supports comprehensive immigration reform and marriage equality for all.

Susan Guinn is running for County Assessor in a county-wide race. She is running without party affiliation and asked members to point out her picture to their neighbors as a way to remember her. She spoke of establishing youth groups which challenge youth to serve. She asked, “What will you do to serve?” She said San Diego County favors the uber rich, the budget is up and the top people are giving themselves perks. She has 20 years of experience as a consumer advocate attorney and she pledges to end the backlog in the assessor’s office.

Frank Tsimboukakis, running the the state Senate 38th district, spoke about the need to create change, to embrace good ideas, to level the playing field and watch out for California. He has done well in several careers including in the beer industry. He is walking his own neighborhoods, making calls and urges people to vote the slate.

Jim Wood, running against Bill Horn for County Supervisor in District 5, became the first Republican to address our club members. He is currently mayor of Oceanside and said he is labeled as a “RINO” – Republican in Name Only! He has been in public office 45 years. He wants people to be able to support their families. He spoke of the need to listen to people and feels he does that well.

Michele Hagan running for Superior Court Judge, Office 25, presented ten things to know about judicial elections and spoke clearly about the fact that judges run county-wide, not just city-wide. She pointed out that it is in the state constitution that judges are elected, not appointed. Hagan is running against two Republicans with no trial experience. Hagan is endorsed by the Democratic Party.

A representative for Carla Keehn, candidate for Superior Court Judge, presented Keehn as a fighter who has been both a defense attorney and a prosecutor and is a military veteran. She is running against a sitting judge with legal issues.

Two candidates for the Palomar Hospital Board also spoke. They will be on the November ballot.

Dara Wonka has a Master’s in Social Work and sees herself as an advocate for people. She explained that the Palomar Hospital Board is the largest in the state. She wants great services for the district. Her specific goals are to increase the quality rating for the district and to ensure high quality professional staff in all units. She is endorsed by various labor unions.

Dale Bardin comes from a strong medical family and has 25 years of experience in the aerospace industry. He has a PhD in physics and is also has labor endorsement.