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Election 2020: 3 questions for Brian Dahle, Pamela Swartz in California Senate race

Jessica Skropanic
Redding Record Searchlight

North State voters will decide on Nov. 3 who will represent them in the California Senate.

Two candidates are running for state Senate District 1: Brian Dahle and Pamela Swartz.

The district covers the northeast corner of the state and includes part or all of 11 counties: Shasta, Siskiyou, Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento and Sierra.

The Record Searchlight asked the candidates three questions about their campaigns. Their answers have been edited for length and clarity. 

Republican Assemblyman Brian Dahle of Bieber

Brian Dahle

Why are you running for office? (50 words)

California is hostile to small businesses, implemented policies that make living here unaffordable. Bad policies hurt people. We have let too many criminals loose in our communities; we have terrible forest policies that kill people, businesses are leaving because of fees, taxes and regulations. I want to turn it around.

What sets you apart from your opponents? (50 words)

Experience. I served on the board of Supervisors for 14 years. I served in the Assembly, and I was elected minority leader. Every day the middle class shrinks, and the American dream of upward mobility and prosperity seems further and further away. She would be part of the problem.

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What are the three most critical issues and why? (100 words)

Affordability, public safety and sustainability:

  1. Affordability: It costs too much to live in California. Fees, taxes and regulations are hurting businesses that want to expand here.
  2. Public Safety: Criminals should go to jail. People have a right to be safe and feel safe in our communities. We also need government forest management policies that do not kill people every year.  
  3. Sustainability: It's not sustainable to have a government that takes so much and spends even more. Leaving obligations like pension debt to be dumped on the next generation is wrong. One party rule has historically led to poverty, corruption and violence.
Pamela Swartz

Pamela Swartz

Why are you running for office? (50 words)

I can't take the inequality anymore. People in our district are hurting. We lack adequate internet, well-paying jobs, access to healthcare, and quality education. Our forests are burning up; creating serious safety risks. Meanwhile, corporate-sponsored politicians are voting on behalf of their donors and billionaires, and not fighting for us.  

What sets you apart from your opponents? (50 words)

Unlike our opponent, we take no corporate money. Our campaign is 100% people- and worker-funded. I have a degree in forestry and understand the intertwined and complicated relationships between our wildlands and human influence. I will show up to public forums and I will stand up for the people.

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What are the three most critical issues and why? (100 words)

Wildfire prevention and forest management, jobs and small business, and rural infrastructure:

  1. Wildfire prevention and forest management: It’s time to get serious about wildfire prevention to limit fire's destructive impact on our communities and local economies and to ensure the safety of our residents by reducing wildfire risk.
  2. Jobs and small business: We need tax advantages and direct support to make our region the hub of innovation on green technology, manufacturing, and agriculture to grow our economy.
  3. Rural infrastructure: Our district deserves broadband internet, adequate evacuation routes, and comprehensive healthcare facilities. These projects bring new economic opportunities and support existing jobs for our working families.

Jessica Skropanic is a features reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. She covers science, arts, social issues and entertainment stories. Follow her on Twitter @RS_JSkropanic and on Facebook. Join Jessica in the Get Out! Nor Cal recreation Facebook group. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today. Thank you.