Assemblyman Dante Acosta, R-Santa Clarita, and Democratic Party challenger Christy Smith are the only candidates on the ballot for the 38th Assembly District in the primary set for June 5. Both will move on to the general election to face off in November.
It’s round two of a race they previously ran in 2016, when they both sought to succeed outgoing Assemblyman Scott Wilk, who is now state senator for the 21st District.
In interviews with the Signal, both candidates spoke of their drives and passions.
Acosta said his strengths during his time in the Legislature have been working across the aisle with Democratic assembly members to pass legislation, citing four bills signed into law by the governor.
“If there’s only one voice in the chorus, it’s not a very nice song,” Acosta said of being in the minority party.
Acosta voiced opposition to the largest gas tax hike in California’s history, Senate Bill 1. He said that the $52 billion in new taxes and fees disproportionately hurt the poor and middle classes in a September column published in The Signal.
“Our plan, AB 496, would have spent billions not just repairing road surfaces, but investing in new roads, bridges and lanes that would have reduced traffic and helped bring sanity to our daily commutes,” he said.
Smith cited her background as Newhall School District board president and experience in educational policy as part of her bona fides. Her priority is making sure she’s reached out to the community, she said.
“I have an absolute understanding of what the current financing needs are for public education, including fully covering facilities, technology, maintenance, staffing, dealing with the challenge of meeting the needs of students with special needs,” she said, referencing her experience balancing school district budgets over the years.
Smith wants to address issues reconciling school district priorities and concerns brought up by teacher’s unions, which she says don’t have to be an either/or situation.
The general midterm election will be Nov. 6.