One of the many positions being challenged in this year’s election is a seat in the California State Assembly representing the 35th District.
For the last year-and-a-half, Jordan Cunningham, a Republican, has served as the assemblyman of California’s 35th District, commuting to and from Sacramento to represent about 47,000 constituents.
"I think we made some real progress on a number of important issues for the Central Coast so far in the about a year-and-a-half or so that I’ve been serving in this office," Cunningham said.
Cunningham has targeted human trafficking as one of his primary areas of legislative emphasis. He’s passed multiple bills on the issue but says he’s also focused on education, infrastructure, water resources, and the closure of Diablo Canyon Power Plant.
"There’s a lot more work to be done. The Diablo mitigation issue, of course, is going to be huge as we brace over the next seven years for the local evolution of our economy," Cunningham explained.
But Cunningham isn’t the only contender up for the role of representing the 35th District. Bill Ostrander, a Central Coast farmer, has stepped into the race and is no stranger to politics.
"I’ve had the advantage of giving a Congressional Briefing in Washington, D.C. I’ve had the advantage of being a lobbyist for issues both at the city, county, state and federal level, so I understand how this process works," Ostrander explained.
Ostrander, a Democrat, says he chose to run for assemblyman in the hopes of creating the changes he and other Central Coast residents have been waiting for.
"We have to get rid of the corruptive influence of money in politics. We need to reverse the consequences of global warming, we need to replenish the nutrient density in our soils," Ostrander said.
Ostrander also says he’ll focus on making health care and education more affordable by using his governmental experience as well as his grassroots campaign to serve as a voice for 35th District constituents.
"I think I understand what people want because we go out and we talk to them and I’m not depending on corporations to give me money to win this election," Ostrander said.
Both Cunningham and Ostrander say they feel they are good representatives of the Central Coast and 35th District residents. It’s voters, though, who will ultimately decide who gets the seat in Sacramento.