During this primary season it’s important to know who is running and what they stand for. Multiple candidates always wish to speak to our club and this year is no exception with so many vying for a spot in our June and November elections. This month the club invited candidates running for State Assembly District 75, Senate District 38 and Congressional District 50. Every candidate who attended had time to address the audience and answer two questions.
In the end the club voted to endorse Ammar Campa-Najjar for CD50, Alan Geraci for AD75 and Jeff Griffith for SD38.
Ammar Campa-Najjar, Congressional District 50
“If we can pull this win off,” Ammar began, “we will make history. Don’t tell me this isn’t a blue wave year. But I can’t do it alone, and I won’t do it by dividing people,” he said. Ammar went on to explain that what drives him every day is his life, raised by a single mom. He started working at 15 1/2 years old as a janitor. He said “a woman named Abigail Campa told me hard work doesn’t define you, it reveals you.”
“We have a fight for the soul of our county, our district, but if we can do it we can be a light for the rest of the country,” Ammar said. To do this though, he explained that we have to rise above it all and bring people back together. He said it is a challenge, but also an opportunity for all of us, not just Democrats, to talk about common sense for the common good.
Regarding the issues, his view on the border wall is that it isn’t needed. “It won’t work” he said, “because we have airplanes.” There are multiple ways of circumventing the wall. He indicated that it would be better to put that $25 million into putting people back to work instead.
As for the amount of the federal budget, half of it, that goes to military funding, he’d like to see how we can refocus the military and especially put an emphasis on taking care of our troops. His goal is to ensure vets can live a good life after they retire. “We should be relentless chasing the bad guys,” he explained, “but we also need to lead by the power of example, not by the example of power.” He absolutely feels it would be crazy to launch a pre-emptive strike on North Korea and instead it would be a show of weakness. “We need to make peace more profitable than war. For example we could work with defense contractors to help us with more innovation in the renewable energy field,” he explained.
When asked about his thoughts on an assault weapons ban, Ammar said he was “willing to die on the hill” for the issue even if it meant he only lasted one term. But he also cautioned that there have been attempts to ban abortion, stop illegal immigration and drug abuse and we need to consider how did those attempts work out? He explained that a ban could actually make things worse. It could drive sales underground, and “underground sales come with an ideology.” He supports lifting the ban on the CDC to study gun violence because it’s imperative to have the research to ensure we avoid unintended consequences. Additionally he also supports banning conversion kits, bump stocks etc.
To support Ammar and learn more about his campaign, see his website
Alan Geraci, Assembly District 75
Alan Geraci, an attorney who has fought to preserve open space, fought to ensure every vote is counted, and is now taking on Escondido for privatizing its public library, is running to take the place of Republican Marie Waldron in Assembly District 75 of the state legislature.
He sees himself as the leading progressive to take on issues of healthcare, improving schools, pushing forward with plans for California to be on 100% renewables by 2030 and improving election transparency. He also believes that cities need to stick to their general plans along with improving infrastructure.
Specifically for San Marcos, he indicated the housing crisis is that we are building too much, most of which is not affordable housing. We have many veterans, people with mental health needs and homeless people who need help. “We have to show we can build homes that fit the need, not just the $800k housing market. We have to stand ready to work with the counties to make sure that state is providing the necessary resources to tackle housing.”
When asked how that can be achieved he replied, “Most of the legislative process happens through the budget and what is allocated, so we need to be sure proper funds are earmarked and used appropriately to solve the issue and follow the money trail.”
“I am ready to take the fight to Sacramento,” he said. “California will continue to lead in innovation and creativity, let’s get to work.” To read more about Alan and his campaign see his website.
Jeff Griffith, Senate District 38
Jeff Griffith says he decided to run when he realized that Brian Jones, Republican from Santee, had jumped into the race to replace termed out state senator Joel Anderson. “Brian Jones spent 6 years in the Assembly, sponsored one bill which was a small tweak to welfare, and now that he’s termed out he wants to try to go back to Sacramento. He doesn’t represent me,” Jeff explained.
Jeff has spent 30 years in public service, as a California Fire Captain and 10 years as a paramedic. In 2012 he was elected to serve on the Palomar Health Board of Directors and was re-elected in 2016. He’s now ready to step up to a bigger role, to represent the largest Senate district in San Diego County. He needs help all around and especially where he doesn’t have much name recognition in East County.
To learn more about Jeff and his stand on key issues see his website.