GOP candidates for 25th Congressional District discuss issues over breakfast

Republican Congressional candidates are introduced before they speak at the meeting of the Santa Clarita Republican Women Federated held at The Oaks Club at Valencia in Valencia on Saturday. Candidates from left, Angela Underwood-Jacobs, Mark Cripe, Suzette Martinez Valladares and Mike Garcia. Dan Watson/The Signal

The latest meeting of the Santa Clarita Republican Women Federated featured the four Republican candidates running for the 25th Congressional District seat in the 2020 election, at The Oaks Club in Valencia on Saturday. 

Registered Republicans from across the Santa Clarita Valley joined for breakfast before they listened to candidates Mike Garcia, Mark Cripe, Suzette Martinez Valladares and Angela Underwood-Jacobs seated at the front of the room. They all spoke about over a dozen issues, such as voter fraud, border control and immigration, transportation, homelessness and the census. 

Linder Viser, first vice president of the Santa Clarita Republican Women Federated, said guests wanted to see how each candidate would approach solving all the various issues up for discussion, the first of which focused on how the candidates would energize the GOP base. 

“We can’t call it reaching out, they’re part of us,” Garcia said. “There’s families in the Antelope Valley who are conservative families — they’ve just been manipulated by a narrative from the left that makes them not want to associate themselves as Republicans. So I’m going to do that. I am doing that.”

On the issue of health insurance, Cripe said the government needs to be removed from the health care discussion. 

“This has got to get fixed, whether you write legislation that helps regulate the insurance companies or using that model of car insurance is a real good way to go (for) people (who) are happy with their insurance,” he said.

Three of the candidates voiced their support for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, though Underwood-Jacobs said “building a wall from sea-to-sea is impractical.”

“I think that what we need to do is we need to focus on the high-end activity areas to make sure (they are) heavily secured,” she said. “I would say we need to have countermeasures, such as electronic devices, so we can know actually what’s going on at the borders. I would also say, too, we should increase the number of border patrol (agents) we have.”

On the issue of transportation, each candidate transitioned to the topic of infrastructure, an issue both parties have campaigned on in recent years. 

“(The president) said he wants to invest in infrastructure, bridges and roads of the United States,” Valladares said. “Well, we need to flip the House in order to do this, because if we can take back this seat, we can actually bring money back to our district to deal with transportation and infrastructure.”

As the breakfast concluded, guests had a brief chance to speak with the candidates before the event wrapped up. 

The 2020 California Primary is slated for Tuesday, March 3, 2020. 

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