By The Signal Editorial Board
As you head to the polls for the March 3 primary — in which you actually have 11 days to vote, starting Feb. 22 — you face a plethora of choices on local and national legislative races, and ballot initiatives, too.
We will not be endorsing candidates in every race, but we are offering endorsements in selected campaigns, and in some cases — as seen below and in the info box at the bottom of this page — we are recommending a candidate from each of the two major political parties in the primary.
Up first: The 25th Congressional District, in which Republican Mike Garcia is our top choice in both the special election to fill the remainder of former Rep. Katie Hill’s term and the primary election leading to the November general election.
Garcia is a highly decorated former Navy fighter pilot who flew more than 30 combat missions over Iraq while serving his country. He’s a respected businessman and a Saugus High School graduate.
He supports a strong military, supports President Trump’s economic policies and wants to make the Trump tax cuts permanent.
A first-generation American whose father immigrated legally in 1959, Garcia understands the importance of respecting the rule of law when it comes to immigration. He supports Trump’s efforts to stop illegal immigration and take firm control of our borders, including construction of a border wall.
He also recognizes the importance of the freedoms and opportunities that America offers to immigrants and naturally born citizens alike — and in that vein, he stands against socialism and will fight to prevent it from further encroaching into government.
And Garcia is not someone who envisions spending the rest of his life in Congress: He advocates term limits to rid Washington of career politicians who are “more concerned with their next election than making tough decisions.”
It also bears mentioning that a former 25th District representative, Republican Steve Knight, has been less than truthful in his campaign materials attacking Garcia.
We endorsed Knight when he was up for re-election in 2018, but we do not endorse him this time around. He joined the race late, only after Hill resigned last fall, and has come out firing against Garcia, alleging that Garcia doesn’t support Trump’s policies.
The opposite is true, and it’s especially ironic because in 2016 and 2018 it was Knight who tried to distance himself from Trump. In fact, in 2016 he said he did not support Trump for president, and when he was in Congress was often a vocal critic of Trump.
It stands to reason that the primary and the special election on the March 3 ballot will lead to one Republican and one Democrat vying for the 25th District seat in a spring runoff and the November general election. That Republican should be Mike Garcia.
It’s Garcia’s time. He had the courage to stand up and run against our former congresswoman, at a time when she appeared to be headed for a second term in Congress.
We fully endorse Mike Garcia as our valley’s next representative in Congress.
If you are voting Democratic in the race for the 25th Congressional District, Christy Smith would be our choice in the primary. In both a spring runoff and the fall general election, we believe the race that would serve the district best would be a matchup between two solid candidates with Santa Clarita Valley roots, Smith and Garcia.
Smith grew up in the SCV and is a graduate of both Hart High School and College of the Canyons. She cares deeply about her hometown. She served the community well on the Newhall School District board of trustees and has brought home some bacon as the representative of the 38th Assembly District, including her work to secure $500,000 in state funding for the new Bella Vida senior center.
While our political views on many national issues may differ from Smith’s, we respect her and believe she is an intelligent, well-intentioned candidate with integrity, who would look out for the 25th District and in particular the SCV if she were elected.
Scott Wilk is our choice for the 21st Senate District.
Wilk is an effective, smart legislator who, as one of the few Republicans in the state capitol, has adeptly worked across the aisle with his Democratic colleagues to get things done.
We could use more legislators like him, who are willing to work in a bipartisan manner to accomplish good works on behalf of all Californians.
It was Wilk who carried important legislation to create the SCV Water agency, effectively merging the Newhall County Water District and Castaic Lake Water Agency. He advocates for affordable health care and gender equality, and has been an outspoken advocate for the victims of Southern California Edison’s ill-advised public safety power shut-offs that led to disastrous results for some local homeowners in last fall’s Tick Fire.
Wilk has worked hard to bring jobs to our district, to protect our children and keep our neighborhoods safe. He is one of the most effective representatives the SCV has had in the state Legislature, and we whole-heartedly endorse him for re-election.
In the nonpartisan race for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, we previously endorsed 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger for re-election. Our endorsement editorial appeared in the Feb. 9 edition and can be found online at: https://bit.ly/3bA418r.
The following are The Signal Editorial Board’s recommendations on the March 3 Primary Election ballot. We are recommending both Republican and Democratic candidates in some partisan races.
• U.S. Representative, 25th District (Primary and Unexpired Term): Mike Garcia
• State Senate, 21st District: Scott Wilk
• State Assembly, 36th District: Tom Lackey
• State Assembly, 38th District: Suzette Martinez Valladares
• U.S. Representative, 25th District (Primary and Unexpired Term): Christy Smith
• State Senate, 27th District: Henry Stern
• State Assembly, 38th District: Annie E. Cho, Kelvin Driscoll
• Los Angeles County Supervisor, 5th District: Kathryn Barger
• Los Angeles County District Attorney: Jackie Lacey
• Judge of the Superior Court No. 76: Emily Cole
• Judge of the Superior Court No. 162: Scott Andrew Yang
• California Proposition 13, School and College Facilities Bond: No