It’s good to have options. And, as the Nov. 6 election approaches, we look no further than the 38th Assembly District for evidence. Republican incumbent Dante Acosta faces a formidable challenge from Democrat Christy Smith, a member of the Newhall School District governing board. During their debate hosted by The Signal this past week, they each exhibited a strong command of the issues facing the community and the district as a whole, and while they have their obvious differences philosophically and ideologically, they also found quite a bit of common ground. Further, in this age of rancor and polarization, it was refreshing to see the two of them air out their opinions on the issues honestly, but respectfully. As the challenger, Smith has run a solid campaign and has drawn broad and deep support from the Democratic Party, locally and beyond — evidence that Democratic leaders see the 38th as a district that could go either way, and evidence that they believe Smith is a capable candidate. We agree. Smith, a Hart High School graduate who has lived in the Santa Clarita Valley for 36 years, has done an excellent job as a member of the Newhall school board. Whether she wins or loses on Nov. 6, we hope she will continue to be part of this community’s leadership in years to come. If Smith wins in November, we will congratulate her and wish her success in the Assembly. The 38th District could do a whole lot worse. Our endorsement, though, goes to Dante Acosta. Our views on the issues facing the district and California align more closely to Acosta’s views than Smith’s. We believe the assemblyman has served the district well in his first term and he has earned a second one. The 30-year SCV resident and former Santa Clarita city councilman has focused on public service since his eldest son, Army Specialist Rudy Acosta, was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan in 2011. He has volunteered for numerous local nonprofits, including Circle of Hope, the SCV Rotary Club and the William S. Hart Museum. As an assemblyman, he has demonstrated a solid ability to work across the aisle, and he noted in last week’s debate that he collaborated with Democrats on two-thirds of the bills he cosponsored. Such bipartisanship will continue to serve Acosta well in the Democrat-dominated Sacramento. Yet, Acosta remains committed to the same fiscally responsible, pro-business values we share. He’s a taxpayer advocate who wants to rein in wasteful spending in Sacramento, he wants to streamline regulations to make California a more attractive place to do business, he’s a strong advocate for public safety — including sensible gun regulations — and he’s opposed to the high-speed rail boondoggle that is poised to siphon away many more billions of dollars of taxpayer money for minimal gain toward upgrading the state’s transportation infrastructure. On education, he advocates getting more bang for the bucks the state spends on education, and says the state needs to put children first — not unions — and make sure education dollars are spent where they are supposed to be: in the classroom. On the local level, Acosta has pledged to continue advocating for our community on issues like the proposed CEMEX mega-mine in Soledad Canyon and the cleanup of the Whittaker-Bermite property, a former munitions manufacturing site. On Nov. 6, we will choose Dante Acosta.