U.S. Rep., state senate candidates take questions in Nevada County
Jim Reed and Rob Rowen, two Democrats running for different seats, mostly agreed at a Thursday forum on topics ranging from infrastructure to the minimum wage while arguing why voters should choose them in their respective races.
Reed, running against Republican U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa, and Rowen, hoping to unseat Republican state Sen. Ted Gaines, share slightly different opinions on Proposition 64, the measure that if passed Nov. 8 would legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
“This has been a really difficult decision for me as far as how I’m going to vote on it,” Rowen said.
The state Senate candidate added he’s concerned how Prop 64 would allow large, corporate grows to enter the state. He would like tax revenue gained from marijuana sales to be shared with counties.
Reed said the environmental damage caused by illegal grows led him to support recreational pot.
Regulation would force growers to help protect the land and water.
No other candidates attended the forum sponsored by the local League of Women Voters.
Reed noted that he could win the election in his Republican-leaning district if 10 percent of GOP voters cast ballots for him.
In an answer to a question from The Union, the candidates also touched briefly on the presidential election.
“This is inexcusable,” Reed said of recent accusations against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. “Even Trump supporters cringe.”
Rowen said he’s distanced himself from the presidential campaign. Instead he said that anger toward career politicians and his own military service could help his run for office.
Pivoting to infrastructure, both candidates, who describe themselves as moderates, agree on the need for the federal and state governments to invest in roads and bridges.
Reed pointed to the need for high-speed internet to bring jobs to his district. Rowen added that biomass plants and revitalizing the timber industry would help.
“Those are going to be some good jobs,” Rowen added.
Both men also said they support a higher minimum wage.
Reed said unions have lost power over the years and that the minimum wage could fill that void.
Rowen put a caveat on his support, saying family businesses operating on small profit margins must be protected.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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