Our View | Endorsements: A Final Recap

Our View

By The Signal Editorial Board

Over the past several weeks, we have published endorsements for various races on Tuesday’s election ballot. For those who have not already voted by mail, we offer this recap of those endorsements:

25th Congressional District:

Mike Garcia 

Garcia best represents the interests of the 25th, including the Santa Clarita Valley. He’s pro-law enforcement, pro-business, pro-school choice, pro-defense, pro-veteran and pro-taxpayer. He won election in May to fill the remainder of former Rep. Katie Hill’s term and deserves a full two-year term to continue what he’s started. 

21st Senate District: Scott Wilk

Wilk is a sharp legislator with a demonstrated track record as a Republican who is successful in working across the aisle with Democrats in Sacramento. His leadership as a worker advocate during the COVID-19 pandemic has kept the heat on the state to process a massive backlog of unemployment claims.

27th Senate District:
Henry Stern

Stern, a Democrat whose district includes western portions of the SCV, also has worked on bipartisan efforts, including some with Wilk, such as opposing the Cemex mine and advocating for improvements in wildfire safety.

38th Assembly District:

Suzette Martinez Valladares

The Republican Valladares is our choice to replace Assemblywoman Christy Smith. Valladares brings valuable business experience, and she’s a working mom who believes in limited government and self-reliance.

36th Assembly District: 

Tom Lackey

Lackey, a Republican, gets an A+ rating from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. We need legislators like Lackey who are on the lookout to protect your pocketbook from further invasion. 

L.A. County District Attorney:

Jackie Lacey

An L.A. native and graduate of USC Law School, Lacey has emphasized safeguarding some of our most vulnerable populations, including protecting children from sex trafficking. 

Santa Clarita City Council:

Cameron Smyth, Jason Gibbs

Smyth has risen to the occasion as mayor during an especially challenging year, and he has an outstanding track record as a public servant representing the SCV as a past state legislator and a council member. 

With Councilman Bob Kellar’s decision not to seek reelection, we will definitely see new blood on the City Council, and Gibbs is an excellent choice to bring a new voice to the dais. He’s established himself as a volunteer for numerous worthy local nonprofits, and he’s relatable to a generation of SCV residents who may feel underrepresented on the council.

William S. Hart Union High School District governing board

Seat No. 1: Linda Storli

Storli as board president has been accessible and, as always, a community-minded advocate for students. She was a teacher at Canyon High School for 30 years before being elected to the school board five years ago.

Seat No. 4: Steve Sturgeon

Sturgeon, the 2013 SCV Man of the Year, is an entrepreneur whose business acumen has served the district well during his 21 years of service on the board.

College of the Canyons

An overall note on the COC board election: There are two “slates” of candidates engaged in what has become a rather bitter battle for control of the community college board. COC is a case study for community college success, under the leadership of Chancellor Dianne Van Hook. We have endorsed the slate that is best equipped to continue that success.

Seat No. 2: Tony Watson

Watson, a graduate of COC and The Master’s College, works as vice president of business improvement for United Site Services and has broad experience volunteering for local nonprofits.

Seat No. 3: Fred Arnold

Arnold, like Watson, would be a newcomer to the board. He has an outstanding track record of business leadership and local philanthropy.

Seat No. 4: Michele Jenkins

The incumbent Jenkins, a recipient of COC’s Distinguished Alumni award, manages her husband’s medical practice while working tirelessly to secure local, state and federal funding to help COC continue to meet the growing needs of students.

SCV Water Agency

Division 1: Gary Martin, Karla Waymire

Division 2: Piotr Orzechowski

Division 3: BJ Atkins, Maria Gutzeit

For the SCV Water Agency, we have endorsed those candidates who best understand the agency’s proper role. It is a simple mission, but accomplishing it is a complex endeavor: To plan for, and meet, the present and future water needs of the SCV. The agency is not supposed to be a tool to accomplish other political goals, like stifling economic growth and new development. We’ve endorsed the candidates who have a firm grasp on the agency’s role and are best equipped to accomplish it.

County Measure J: No

Measure J would permanently enforce a shift of 10% of the county’s unrestricted funds to social and community programs. It’s a permanent “defund the police” initiative that would tie the county’s hands in perpetuity.

State ballot measures 

Prop. 14, stem cell research: Yes

This measure would allow California to borrow $5.5 billion to continue funding the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for stem cell research and other medical research, therapy development, medical training and construction of research facilities. 

Prop. 15, split roll: No

This measure would increase taxes on businesses and commercial and industrial real estate. It’s the first attempt by Sacramento’s Democratic supermajority to gut Prop. 13. If it passes, expect massive trickle effects on every California taxpayer.

Prop. 16, affirmative action: No

This measure’s answer to address past racial discrimination is… to institutionalize discrimination. It would end the state’s ban on discrimination and bias to allow schools and public agencies to consider race, gender and ethnic diversity as factors in employment and college admissions.   

Prop. 17, parolee vote: No

This measure would allow those on parole for felony convictions to vote in California. A felon’s debt to society should be completed before his or her vote is restored. 

Prop. 20, new felonies: Yes

This measure would allow theft crimes such as firearm theft, vehicle theft and unlawful use of a credit card to be charged as felonies rather than misdemeanors and require individuals convicted of specified misdemeanors to submit to the collection of DNA samples. 

Prop. 21, rent control: No

Prop. 21 would allow cities to establish rent-control laws on residential properties over 15 years old. It’s an anti-free-market government over-reach that would penalize many “small” landlords.

Prop. 22, contractors: Yes

Assembly Bill 5 kills jobs. Prop. 22 would mitigate the damage by allowing app-based transportation and delivery drivers, such as for Uber and GrubHub, to be classified as independent contractors. Without this measure, many thousands of Californians will lose their source of income at a time when they can scarcely afford it.

Prop. 25, eliminate cash bail: No

This measure, if approved, would uphold the 2018 law that eliminated cash bail statewide in favor of risk assessments for detained suspects awaiting trials. 

If you would like to view our original endorsement editorials, visit these pages: 

Sept. 19: Assembly and Senate.

Sept. 26: William S. Hart Union High School District and COC. 

Oct. 3: District attorney and SCV Water Agency.

Oct. 10: 25th Congressional District and Santa Clarita City Council.

Oct. 17: Ballot initiatives.

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