Three candidates are in the running for the California State Assembly District 37 seat in the June 7 Primary Election.
The State Assembly seat is currently represented by Steve Bennett, who was elected for the position back in 2020. Bennett is not seeking re-election this November, leaving two Democrats and one Republican campaigning for the open seat.
Current Santa Barbara County District 2 Supervisor Gregg Hart announced his bid for the seat back in January. He is one of the two Democratic candidates in the election.
"We need to build a foundation for economic growth and the best way we can do that is by investing in education," Hart told KSBY.
Hart also says his many years of experience as an elected public official have prepared him to take on his initiatives in Sacramento. One of those is the environment.
"When we make investments in infrastructure for economic growth, we must make sure we are making smart investments in infrastructure that improve California's environment, not degrade it," Hart added.
Fellow Democratic candidate Bruce Wallach says his background in psychology, with degrees from both UC Davis and Stanford University, has made him ready to tackle the goals of his platform.
"As for children and education, I'd like to see them overcome learning loss by making school and education fun again," Wallach said.
He says he would also like to provide more help for the homeless, as well as establish guaranteed income for those that are disabled, under-qualified or unable to find work.
"We've housed 1% of them so far," Wallach said in regard to ongoing issues surrounding homelessness. "It would be moving the goal post a long way to house all the homeless in this way."
The sole Republican in the race, U.S. Attorney and former Southwest Administrator to the Environmental Protection Agency appointed by Donald Trump, Mike Stoker, takes another approach to his candidacy.
In contrast to the other candidates in the race, Stoker said, "It comes down to one simple question: If you think we’re in the wrong direction for California, I’m your guy. If you think we’re in the right direction, my opponent is probably your guy, and if you want to change, it takes someone like me with the proven track record for getting things done to start moving in the right direction."
As for Mike Stoker's platform, he says he has always been an advocate for small businesses and the average farmer, while expressing his disapproval of mandated vaccines. He also wants to bring more statewide support for law enforcement.
The top two vote-getters in this race will face off again in the General Election this November.