Candidate for California’s Assembly District 4 Charlie Schaupp (R) shared his experience running in the state’s new nonpartisan, top-two open primary and his plans for the district if elected in November.
Over 53,000 Decline-to-State voters live in the 4th Assembly District, which includes parts of Yolo, Napa, and Lake Counties. About half of voters in the district are not registered with the Democratic Party while nearly 26 percent are registered as Republicans.
In an interview for IVN, Schaupp responded to the following questions:
This is the second election cycle where all voters can participate in the primary on a single ballot. Have the effects been positive or negative?
“I think Prop 14, although it had good intentions, turned out to be a bad idea. We have basically shutout the smaller parties like the Libertarian, Green, American Independent, Peace and Freedom, and others from being part of the election process after the primary. I don’t always agree with the views and platforms of other parties, but I will fight for their right to be heard and ‘speak from the podium’. That is the ‘American Way’ and the right thing to do.”
The June primary was very close. Would the previous, closed, primary system have produced a different result?
I was able to be in the ‘Top Two’ without wasting tens of thousands on mailers or media buysCharlie Schaupp
Whereas I only spent the minimum necessary in filing statements, voter pamphlet information, and yard/road signs. The top Democratic vote-getter will be my opponent in the fall, Bill Dodd. He just changed parties within the last several years and it looks like he did this because of the open primary rules. I estimate that Bill Dodd, adding in Independent Expenditures, spent in excess of $45 for every vote he received on election night, whereas I only spent about 68 cents for every vote I received.
In the end, even with the excessive spending by the Democrats, Bill Dodd only out polled me by 295 votes and I out polled him in every county except his home county of Napa and a small proportion of Sonoma County.”
How important are party labels in California elections? Are they becoming more or less important?
“I don’t think ‘party labels’ are as important now that we are in the ‘information age’ that we live in; rather, I believe it is what the candidate stands for and his or her experience in working with others to solve problems that matters. Each of us choose a political party based on our own beliefs, ideals, and goals for our communities and nation.
For some, parties are important as they allow ‘like-minded’ people to work together for common goals. However, I feel most voters, in the end, will choose the person they believe is the best candidate regardless of party. I believe that will happen in the upcoming election in November in the 4th Assembly District.”
How has your tenure as a farmer and marine prepared you for the role of Assembly member?
What matters is what the candidate stands for and his or her experience working with others to solve problemsCharlie Schaupp
Also, my career service as an officer in the United States Marines has given me tremendous insight on how government works, or doesn’t work, and that insight and experience will greatly aid me in understanding what is working and what needs to be fixed in our state’s huge and mostly unnecessary bureaucracies.
And thirdly, my experience as an elected member of school boards, service districts, and central committees have given me an insight into the problem of local government and how the state can improve local government by returning control of local issues back to the local governance boards.
After all, in my opinion, local government is the most accessible and accountable to the people and the voters.
What is your plan address the 4th district's water needs once in office?
“Water and increasing water storage is one of the biggest problems this state is facing. Yet, currently, the state’s idea to fix the situation is to build a twin tunnel under the delta that some estimate will cost the taxpayers up to $75 billion, but will not provide any real, substantiated new water storage to feed this tunnel or flood control, hydroelectric power, or level repair and maintenance that the residents of the North State desperately need.
Southern California is thirsty for new water sources and San Joaquin Valley farmers need water to continue to grow their crops that aid the state’s economy. One other great concern is the Napa Valley, which has almost no water storage for agriculture and a billion dollar vine industry at risk from lack of ag water. This area produces some of the finest wine grapes in the world that are totally dependent on ground well water.
We need storage to recharge the Napa aquifer and protect this and other agricultural industries from water shortages in drought years. This current drought should point out to all that a tunnel under the delta does not fix anyone’s water problems or needs. I will fight for a comprehensive state water plan that provides water for all by building and repairing our state’s water projects that add to storage and provide North State residents power and flood control.
Any attempt to make Northern California a ‘New Owens Valley’ by bleeding it dry of water must be vigorously opposed. And the delta tunnel poses just such a threat to the North State. A threat I will wholeheartedly oppose.”
Image credit: Elect Charlie Schaupp