This story is part of a series the Siskiyou Daily News has planned on the six candidates running for the District 1 Senate seat on March 26. They include Democrats Steve Baird and Silke Pflueger and Republicans Brian Dahle, Rex Hime, Theodore Dziuba and Kevin Kiley.

By Skye Kinkade

SISKIYOU COUNTY – Assemblyman Kevin Kiley said protecting water resources, managing forests and stopping additional tax increases are among his highest priorities if elected March 26 to the State Senate.

Kiley, who currently represents residents of several Sacramento suburbs in the state’s 6th Assembly District, is one of four Republicans vying to give northern Californians a voice in District 1.

Endorsed by the California Republican Assembly, Kiley said he is against the removal of the Klamath dams and will “fight to protect our way of life and to sustain the local economy by supporting the timber, farming and tourism industries.”

Kiley is a former high school teacher and lawyer. According to his website, electkevinkiley.com, he attended Harvard and taught 10th grade in South Central Los Angeles before attending Yale Law School. After passing the California bar, he joined a law firm before becoming a deputy attorney general.

Kiley and his business partner, former U.S. Congressman Doug Ose, own and operate Ose-Kiley Cattle, his website states.

Kiley was elected to represent the 6th Assembly District – which includes cities such as Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Rocklin and Granite Bay – in 2016.

Kiley currently serves as vice chair of the Assembly Education Committee and of the Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee, according to his website, and is a member of the Public Safety Committee, Governmental Organization Committee, Judiciary Committee, and Higher Education Committee.

Kiley said he is the only candidate with a 100 percent perfect ‘A’ rating from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. He said he will work to protect Prop. 13 (which limits tax rates for real estate) and will “stand up to Governor Gavin Newsom and his liberal allies in the state legislature who don’t care about or understand the values and needs of our local communities.”

Q&A with the candidate

Kiley answered the following Siskiyou-specific questions via an email interview.

Q: What is your position on the proposed removal of four Klamath Dams?

I am against removing the dams. That would devastate farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin, would hurt ratepayers who rely on the dams for energy, and would be environmentally destructive, resulting in the release of 20 million cubic yards of silt south of Iron Gate Dam.

Q: What is your take on wildfire protection for north state communities and what kinds of forest management do you support?

Our forests are dangerously overgrown. State government must streamline permitting for forest thinning, grazing, and logging. At the same time, utility providers have to be held accountable for damage caused by defective equipment.

Q:What issues do you see as the most pressing for Siskiyou County?

High taxes and excessive regulations are pushing businesses and families out of Siskiyou County. My priorities in the Senate will include fighting tax increases, including Gavin Newsom’s water tax, championing forest management reform, and promoting job creation by streamlining regulations.

Q: Do you visit Siskiyou County often?

I was in Siskiyou just last week, when I spoke at the protests against the removal of the Klamath Dams. It’s a beautiful area, and I look forward to getting up here more often.

Q: What is your favorite location in District 1?

I can’t pick just one. There’s so much natural beauty in this district that I’ve experienced since growing up here as a kid, from hiking to skiing to climbing to camping.

Q: Do you support the State of Jefferson movement?

The State of Jefferson movement has given voice to the many of us who feel that Sacramento has failed to represent our interests and values. As a member of the State Senate, I will fight to improve North State representation, shrink government, and promote local control.

Q: Do you have any concrete ideas for stimulating the economy of Siskiyou County and the north state in general? What about attracting businesses to the area?

We all know that Siskiyou is a special place to live and work. I will fight to protect our way of life and sustain our local economy by supporting the timber, farming, and tourism industries. We also need to attract new businesses by lowering taxes and providing rural communities with regulatory relief.

Q: What is your position on the federal protection of wolves and their impact on Siskiyou County ranchers and farmers?

Wolves pose a serious threat to the livelihood of our area’s ranchers and farmers. The federal government shouldn’t be implementing “one size fits all” policies that adversely impact North State families and businesses.

The election

A special primary election will take place on Tuesday, March 26, to fill the District 1 senate seat which was vacated by Ted Gaines when he took his elected position on the Board of Equalization in January.

If one of the six candidates gets a majority of the vote on March 26, there will be no need for a special general election in June.

If no single candidate is the clear victor on March 26, the top two candidates – whether Democrat or Republican – would duke it out on June 4 to represent District 1, which encompasses all of Siskiyou County and runs to the eastern edge of the state and south to the Lake Tahoe area. It wraps around the Sacramento Valley along the northern Sierra Nevada to the eastern Sacramento suburbs.