EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to include full transcripts from interviews with the candidates.
REGION — In a rare occurrence in North County, a pair of Democrats are on the ballot in a statewide race, the result of the state’s “jungle primary” system.
But the race hasn’t been totally congenial, as both candidates — in their first run for statewide office — have had at least some friction on the campaign trail.
Despite belonging to the same political party, Tasha Boerner Horvath and Elizabeth Warren provide two distinct choices for voters in November.
Boerner Horvath currently serves on the Encinitas City Council after being elected in 2016. Warren, who has held no elected office, is a self-described journalist and community activist.
Warren said she was prompted to run after her family was rocked by the Great Recession in 2008.
“In 2008 we lost our home in the mortgage crisis and had to convince landlords we deserved to rent from them,” Warren said. “It was a humbling experience — and one I wouldn’t trade for anything. Now that we are homeowners once again I have vowed to help others who long for that security and are struggling to provide their families with a decent life in these difficult times.”
Boerner Horvath said after years of having elected representatives who were out of touch with the needs and desires of the district, which has become increasingly less Republican and more Democrat over the years, she is ready to provide that alternative.
“Our region deserves a representative in Sacramento, who not only reflects our values, but also has a record of accomplishments on vital issues in our region,” Boerner Horvath said. “I have the right combination of experience, temperament and track record to ensure clean air and water; protect our beaches, parks, trails and open space; protect women’s rights; create the jobs for the workforce of today and tomorrow; achieve real housing affordability; and protect our most vulnerable.”
Here are samples of some of the candidates’ takes on pressing topics on the campaign trail:
The biggest issues facing the 76th District
Tasha Boerner Horvath — Tasha Boerner Horvath Full Interview Transcript
- Housing diversity: “I will ensure that the legislature addresses the root cause of the housing affordability crisis, rather than putting a Band-Aid for the next generation to fix.”
- Thriving local businesses: “In Sacramento, I will ensure our small businesses succeed by simplifying how we do business in California, while expanding training programs with our clean, bio and high tech businesses to educate the workforce of today and tomorrow for good-paying careers in our region.”
- Protecting our spectacular natural resources: “In the State Assembly, I will hold polluters accountable, increase the electric vehicle fast charging network, and protect our beautiful coastline.”
Elizabeth Warren — Elizabeth Warren Full Interview Transcript
- Stronger communities: Economic investments and opportunities, help to implement “buy local” incentives, ending rate-payer rip-offs and compassionate, community-based solutions to address homelessness.
- Quality of life: Moving toward single-payer “Medicare for all” plan, closing corporate loophole in Prop. 13 and a statewide $15 minimum wage.
- Hope for tomorrow: Fully funding public education: K-12, public colleges and universities, addressing climate change and reducing waste beyond recycling.
“One of the reasons I decided to run for State Assembly is because once elected to the City Council, I saw laws that helped San Diego, L.A. and San Francisco, but did little to create real housing affordability in a high-land-value coastal district. For example, the requirement to build on vacant land for housing element sites, does not consider built-out cities or proximity to transit. If elected, I will champion housing policies that will avoid the one-size-fits-all requirements and will produce the housing diversity that our communities need for our young professionals, seniors, teachers and firefighters to thrive.”
“California is in the midst of a housing crisis: we have record breaking homelessness, and those who are housed are finding it harder and harder to stay in their homes or apartments and make ends meet — as rents are skyrocketing with no end in sight.
“Each community is facing its own unique set of challenges. I support repealing the Costa-Hawkings Rental Housing Act, so that each city has the flexibility to tackle their own housing issues as they see fit.”
The “gas tax”
“California voters have an important decision to make regarding SB1. The issues of our transportation infrastructure, which include ensuring safe roads and bridges, are very real, as is the issue of affordability in our beautiful state. I will always respect the voice of the voters, and will work to find solutions that will work for every resident of my district.”
“I supported the goal of SB 1— rebuilding our roads and bridges — but I did not support the funding mechanism that SB 1 was built on. I fundamentally oppose the Gas Tax and other regressive forms of taxation because the burden is often shifted onto the backs of our working families. In California, our neighbors, our students, our veterans, and our seniors are already being nickel and dimed into poverty. That’s unconscionable, particularly in a state that legislative leaders tout as the “5th Largest Economy in the World.”
“In the past, we’ve also seen money earmarked for transportation projects redirected to other parts of the budget. Voters need to trust that their taxpayer dollars are being wisely spent and invested. To that end, we need improved transparency and government accountability — and lower taxes for our working families. If elected, I will not support regressive taxes that hit our working families the hardest.”
The dynamic of running against a fellow Democrat
“It is a unique situation considering the voter registration of our district. To be honest we are focusing all of our energy on running a strong grassroots campaign that talks to as many voters — from all political parties — as possible. We are proud that we are supported by an unprecedented number of organizations, such as teachers, sheriffs, firefighters and the Sierra Club.”
“I think our platforms are different enough so that the voters can judge us by our positions on the issues. But if you want more, the issue that has had the biggest impact on the dynamic of our race is not that we’re both Democrats — but that my opponent is being bankrolled by Sacramento insiders. And it’s those very insiders who ‘set the bar’ for determining candidate viability at how much money one raises — essentially setting the rules of the game and then rigging it so they can control the outcome.
“Special interests are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in an effort to buy this seat — just to elect a candidate who won’t make waves. They spent a fortune in the primary to come in second place — and they doubled down the day after the election when they heard I won.”