Unlike the usual Democrat versus Republican race, the race for Senate District 15 in California is between two Democrats, Joe Coto and Jim Beall. This is a result of California's new open primaries where the top two candidates, regardless of party, face each other in the general election. District residents will vote for a candidate based on experience and planned solutions for the district instead of party affiliation.
During an interview, Joe Coto said he knows how things work in California based on his experience as a superintendent of two large school systems in California and managing three large-scale organizations.
“I know how to run a large scale organization and I know how to balance budgets and how to maintain reserves, and I did that during my eighteen years as a superintendent of schools. And that goes for some of the ideas that I proposed at the state level,” Coto said. He feels his management experiences make him better suited to represent his constituents compared to his opponent.
With his leadership background, Coto stated that he is qualified to initiate solutions for California’s worst economic challenges. Some of the issues he mentioned specifically include, “multi-year budgeting, getting to the point where the budget reflects revenue, and reducing the burdensome regulatory obstacles that are put in front of small, medium, and large size businesses to generate more revenue."
Joe Coto believes he can represent voters of different party affiliations because of his job experience and ability to work with all communities. He plans to communicate the support and accomplishments he has within the business community in an effort to reach out to Republican voters.
With two Democrats running, Coto says voters in District 15 should base their decision on “experience of the candidates in terms of problem solving and finding solutions to the issues facing California," as well as the candidate's "ability to work across the aisle and the ability to relate well to people of all different philosophical and ideological groups.” He emphasized the need to “build coalition as a means of finding solutions to our problems.”
There is no doubt that both candidates are in for the long haul, as their planned proposals have to appeal to all voters.
According to Coto, District 15's voting population is 44 percent Democratic, 24 percent Republican, and the remaining are independent voters. For this Democrat versus Democrat race, it is non-Democrats that will be the determining factor in the campaign for California's 15th Senate District.