Candidates for U.S. Representative California District 1 sound off in town hall forum | TheUnion.com

Candidates for U.S. Representative California District 1 sound off in town hall forum

Jennifer Nobles
Staff Writer

The atmosphere within the Board Chambers of the Eric Rood Administration Center was decidedly friendly on Thursday when six of the seven candidates competing for the seat of U.S. Representative District 1 of California met in a public forum.

The forum was presented by the League of Women Voters of Western Nevada County.

Though greatly different in their backgrounds and experience, the candidates seemed to share one common goal: to unseat incumbent Doug LaMalfa of Oroville.

LaMalfa was not in attendance, but was in session in Washington, D.C.

The candidates fielded questions from audience members as well as from members of the media. Topics ranged from what the candidates have to offer the district to their thoughts on military budgets, the second amendment, and campaign finance reform. Stephen Munkelt mediated.

Four of the six hopefuls are of the Democratic party: Audrey Denny, Jessica Holcombe, David Peterson, and Marty Walters. Gregory Cheadle is registered as Republican, and Lewis Elbinger is the lone Green Party candidate.

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The candidates were vocal about what differentiates them from the incumbent.

"When you look at the incumbent and myself there is a vast difference, and it represents wealth and equality," said Cheadle. "You have someone who was handed down a lot versus someone who was handed down bills. And so I am more in contact with the people."

Elbinger said, "A lot of the third rail issues like abortion or gun control and gay marriage, are sideshows and keep people divided and fighting, while behind the scenes wealth and power is being siphoned up to the top of society."

Due to the large number of candidates, just nine questions were presented and answered during the two-hour forum, which was held in front of a standing room only crowd.

"The vast majority of this region is pretty conservative, and it's really critical that we be able to build on the things that we can agree on and [go] from there," said Walters, who hails from Quincy.

The candidates received a standing ovation upon the conclusion of the forum.

The League of Women Voters will hold another forum on April 19, which will focus on the Candidates for Nevada County Board of Supervisors District 3.

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com or by calling (530) 477-4231.