Learn about the state Assembly District 1 candidates, then vote
It’s easy to get election fatigue in Nevada County.
November isn’t that far in the past. You likely still remember the endless array of political advertisements fighting for your attention. And the sigh of relief you had when it finally ended.
But a seemingly never ending series of elections was only starting for those of us in Nevada County.
In March we had a special election for state Senate District 1, as Ted Gaines had moved to the Board of Equalization.
That was followed by a runoff in June, as no one candidate got enough votes in March to win the seat outright.
District 1 state Assemblyman Brian Dahle won that runoff, opening his Assembly seat. That meant another election, which is happening Aug. 27.
Five candidates are running for the Assembly seat: Democrat Elizabeth Betancourt; and Republicans Megan Dahle; Patrick Henry Jones; Lane Rickard; and Joe Turner.
Megan Dahle is the wife of Brian Dahle.
You might not know much about the candidates. This newspaper printed a story featuring the candidates, and one about a forum held Thursday.
But if you didn’t read those, or meet a candidate in person, you might not know anything about them.
Coming to an election with knowledge of the candidates and issues is essential. It means voters make the best decisions possible instead of relying on party lines, or worse, nothing at all.
We have questions for the candidates. Whether in person, on their websites or through email, they should answer them.
For example, how could they help make fire insurance more affordable to Californians? A forum held this coming Thursday in Grass Valley will feature the state’s insurance commissioner. Will the candidates attend? They should, if they want to know how Nevada County residents feel about this issue.
Where do the candidates stand on the Centennial Dam, and water issues in general? What about infrastructure, including the bullet train? How do they feel about legalized cannabis and the taxes, and problems, that stem from it?
Expanding broadband in rural areas is key to bringing jobs and economic vitality to our area. How can the candidates help make this a reality? What state and local regulations could interfere with this development, and what can the candidates do to overcome them?
Alternatively, what help can local and state governments lend to assist with increased broadband access?
Like other places throughout the nation, this district suffers from opioid addiction. We need not only ideas, but action to fight this disease, help those in its thrall and reduce the number of people who will become ensnared.
The candidates need to share what they bring to the table. Their experience, in office and out; their community involvement; career and leadership skills; and their knowledge of state Assembly District 1.
These candidates must explain to us, the voters, how one rural Assembly member can make a difference in Sacramento. What differentiates one candidate from another when it comes to who can make change happen? Will they fall into lockstep with their political party, or truly represent the best interests of this district?
If we’re lucky, the most we can hope for is a little of both.
This election is flying under the radar. It’s difficult to educate yourself about the five candidates, discern their differences and make the best choice.
It’ll take work to make that choice, but it’s worth pushing past the fatigue to make the right one.
Our View is the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.
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