Lodi News-Sentinel



Why are you running for this seat?

I have a unique background of experience that will benefit our district. I spent 16 years serving this community as Congressma­n Richard Pombo's Chief of Staff in Congress and the staff director of the Congressio­nal Resources Committee with jurisdicti­on over water and public lands. I know how the system works. I was successful because I know one man cannot do it alone; you need to build coalitions. In the private sector I run a very successful restaurant with an excellent team and my two sons, Steven and Connor. I sign the front of paychecks. We know how to pivot during a crisis. During the COVID years we didn't whine about it, we made it work. All of my employees are still here today.

What issues set you apart from your opponents?

I can hit the ground running. I've got the successful business experience necessary and the public experience from the local level to the highest seats in Congress. I have a vast network of experts and those elected officials at all levels of government to help San Joaquin County prosper.

If elected, what do you hope to accomplish?

Fiscal responsibi­lity, safer streets, and adding mental health components to our resources in dealing with the homeless. Having homeless camps on our streets is not an option. We will offer them help, and if they don't take it, they will be given other options, like jail. I will be a key player with my background in helping build a coalition with other leaders throughout the state to ensure a path to a reliable water supply.

Your thoughts on:

COVID policy: First off, there isn't one. Maneuverin­g a restaurant alongside my employees was daunting, but we did it successful­ly. Hopefully we learned a lot for when the next crisis arises.

Public safety/criminal justice: It's time to get back to the basics. Criminal actions must have consequenc­es. Prevention is less expensive and needs to be an integral part of the equation. Vocational training and youth organizati­ons like The Boys and Girls Club should all be at the table.

Homelessne­ss: They are not all homeless. Some are profession­al campers and they stand in the way of providing services to those who truly need them, like the mentally ill. Mental health needs to be at the forefront. Those who are littering our streets and polluting our waterways need to be removed. The legal obstacles are being addressed and there will be beds for them. If they don't accept the help, there are consequenc­es.

Affordable housing: Fees are high, labor is high, building materials are high, demand is high. Seriously, anyone that has a solution: I'm all ears!

Economic policy: The government is usually behind business in understand­ing economic trends. We are in the beginning of a recession; it's just nobody knows it yet. Now is the time for local government to show restraint and prioritize spending for essentials like law enforcemen­t, street maintenanc­e, and public obligation­s. It's time to tighten the purse strings so we can make it through the upcoming downturn.

Water Issues: Don't tell me no, tell me how! No one man or entity can solve our water problems. It takes an extensive effort to build a valley coalition to get healthy together. I've got the ability, know-how, relationsh­ips with key players, and the background to be part of this great team.

Taxes/fees/rates: Most people just want a local government that does the job without costing too much ... a government that does the basics and leaves the politics to Sacramento and Washington. That’s why I’m running.

Cannabis: I prefer almond and peanut M&M's myself! The cannabis industry is highly taxed and regulated and not expanding. I'm more concerned with the undergroun­d market that is beginning to prosper again.

Winery/events ordinances: Tourism creates jobs and clean tax dollars. As a community we must co-exist. Considerat­ions must be made to be good neighbors. Hours of operation, traffic considerat­ions, and mutual understand­ings. We need each other!

Transporta­tion/infrastruc­ture: My experience as staff director of one of the most powerful committees in Washington D.C. has given me an opportunit­y to help our community receive our fair share of revenue from the federal and state government­s to use funding for expenses we have already paid for in exorbitant taxes and fees.

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