Editor’s note: Today’s opinion page featured guest columns from each of the two candidates for the 27th Congressional District. The column by Smith’s opponent, Rep. Mike Garcia, can be found here.
I’m Christy Smith, your candidate for Congress. I am a 40-year Santa Clarita resident, wife, mother, former state legislator and school board member who has put party aside to get things done for our community.
Throughout my service, I’ve worked with Democrats and Republicans to expand local health clinics and senior centers, create good jobs, improve schools and deliver effective government to our community.
I’m running for Congress because I’m tired of Washington politicians who put themselves and special interest lobbyists ahead of our community.
Unlike my opponent, I don’t take corporate political action committee money.
As your congressional representative, I’ll work with both parties to fight back against Washington’s corruption and put working families first by reducing drug prices, cracking down on corporate price gouging, and protecting Social Security and Medicare.
When it comes to lowering costs for working families in Congress, there is a clear choice in this race. As your representative, I’ll take on the drug companies to lower prices and make health care more affordable, including stopping them from hiking prices 500% overnight on inhalers and epi-pens, and also reining in out-of-control deductibles.
It’s an issue that’s deeply personal to me, as my mother, a lifelong nurse, lost her life because she could not afford her insulin and was too proud to tell us she needed help.
On the other hand, Rep. Mike Garcia took over $44,000 from Big Pharma and voted against capping drug prices for seniors, against capping the price of insulin at $35 a month, and against allowing Medicare to negotiate cheaper drug prices.
He also voted to gut health care protections for more than 6 million Californians with pre-existing conditions, allowed insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more and voted for bills that would cause 4.2 million Californians to lose their health insurance.
I’ll protect Social Security and Medicare for millions of Americans who have worked tirelessly for the safe and secure retirement they earned, while Republicans have announced their plan to make cuts to these vital earned benefit programs.
I’m also the only candidate who will hold Big Oil accountable for gas price gouging, while Garcia took more than $265,000 in corporate PAC money, then voted to give big corporations huge new tax breaks while voting against tax breaks for middle-class families.
In addition to having a champion for working families representing us in Congress, it’s also critical that we have a representative who shares our community’s values.
I am a lifelong supporter of reproductive freedom and access to contraception.
I will do what’s necessary to defend our democracy and our right to have our votes counted.
I’m also the only candidate who supports common-sense policies that will make our community safer, like universal background checks, an assault weapons ban, and the protections in the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which my opponent opposed.
Throughout this race, my opponent’s allies have lied about my record to the public with millions of dollars from dark-money PACs.
With so much on the line in this election — economic opportunity, the safety of our community, reproductive freedom, and democracy itself — this community was owed a debate.
Rather than stand up to defend his record of putting special interests ahead of our community, my opponent has refused to engage.
The fact is, Mike Garcia knows that his record and his values are out of touch with this district. He doesn’t want to debate, because he knows his record is indefensible.
The 27th Congressional District deserves a representative who shares our values and is laser-focused on lowering costs and raising wages for working Americans.
Working families can count on me, a proven, effective leader, to cut through the partisan gridlock to get things done and deliver for our community in Congress. Make sure to vote by Nov. 8!
Christy Smith is a Democratic candidate for the 27th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley. Her campaign website is www.christyforcongress.org.