There is no incumbent in the current race for California State Assembly District 37, leaving one Democrat and one Republican candidate in the running to take over the position.
"The campaign is going well. I am out knocking on doors, meeting with voters, and hearing their concerns directly," said Democratic candidate Gregg Hart.
"Most of your voters want to have a good economy, they want their families safe, and in the last couple of months they have seen us go in the wrong direction," Hart's Republican competitor, Mike Stoker, told KSBY.
Stoker, who most recently served as the Southwest Regional Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, says his platform offers an opposite perspective from Hart's.
"My opponent supported an effort to defund the county sheriff's department. I am endorsed by the Deputy Sheriff’s Association," Stoker said. "I think parental rights have been under attack in Sacramento and I will be a staunch supporter of parental rights."
Hart, who is the current Santa Barbara County District 2 Supervisor, says his many years of service at the local level have prepared him for the responsibilities he would assume if elected to the State Assembly.
"Housing is becoming very unaffordable. Prices there have gotten a lot worse in a very short amount of time, so we need to figure out ways to keep the California economy on track. We are the fifth largest economy in the world and one of the biggest job producers in the country," Hart said.
Stoker says he has prioritized supporting small businesses as well as a gradual transition to smart energy and water policies.
"I didn’t get in this race to just run for running. I got in this race knowing we can win, and I think we are going to win. I think voters have a clear choice. Do you think we are going in the right direction? If you do, you vote for my opponent. If you think we are headed in the wrong direction, you want somebody who is going to fight for a new direction for California, you are going to vote for me," Stoker added.
Hart says his platform will also focus on providing and maintaining resources for education, expanding healthcare access, and addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
"It is not easy to afford to live in the Central Coast, but we also have a lot of great success stories locally in taking on big challenges and having good results, and I think that the reason that has been successful is because we roll up our sleeves, put partisan differences aside, and that is the representative that I hope to be in Sacramento," Hart said.
California's 37th District represents just over 480,000 people living in Santa Barbara County as well as a part of southwest San Luis Obispo County.