Hopefuls speak at VVC candidate forum
VICTORVILLE • Nine 33rd Assembly District candidates vying for the seat left wide open by Republican Tim Donnelly’s governor bid went head-to-head at a public forum at Victor Valley College on Thursday evening.
The forum drew a sparse gathering of students, faculty and others in the community. Questions pointed at the candidates included asking about their “top priorities” and “vision” for one of California’s most geographically expansive districts.
Donnelly was criticized by a few candidates — especially the lone Democrat in the race — for focusing too much on “rhetoric” and not enough on district priorities during his tenure in office.
“The top priority for 33rd Assembly District is effective leadership of this district in Sacramento,” Democrat John Coffey said. “There has been no effective leadership for this district since 2010. It’s been MIA. If you’re not at the table to make sure your constituents get a slice, then you lose.”
Coffey, who lost to Donnelly in 2012, blamed him for the courthouse cuts in Needles, Barstow and Big Bear Lake as well as “struggling businesses” and “upside-down mortgages.” He said he would be the only candidate to “get a seat at the table” in California’s lower house, which is run by Democrats.
Brett Savage and fellow Republicans Jerry Laws, Jay Obernolte, Rick Roelle and Michelle Ambrozic each touched on the need for creating more jobs in the area. Roelle said the government needs to refocus itself on “quality of life” issues.
“I keep going door-to-door, 3,000 doors already knocked, and the biggest thing people are letting me know is that we don’t have jobs here in the High Desert,” Savage said. “We don’t have jobs here in California to be honest. We’re pushing jobs out to Texas, Nevada, you name it.”
Rim of the World school trustee and Republican candidate Scott Markovich repeatedly said that improving the district’s infrastructure was a leading order of business. Apple Valley Mayor Art Bishop, also a Republican, said the biggest problem facing the state is its budget. Republican Robert Larivee said “the top priority is getting the right person to Sacramento.”
Ambrozic challenged comments made by Savage and other candidates regarding making compromises and “reaching across the table” in Sacramento.
“I don’t want to reach across the table, I want to flip the table over,” Ambrozic said. “Compromise usually means that you compromise values. Well, I’m not willing to compromise my conservative values.”
Immediately following the VVC event, candidates were set to attend another forum at the Aspen Clubhouse in Apple Valley at the Sun City senior living community.
Republican Robert Buhrle was the only candidate not to attend Thursday’s forum. The primary election is set for June 3.
Brooke Self may be reached at 760-951-6232 or BSelf@VVDailyPress.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @DPEduNews.
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The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411
Flip the tables over should be the war cry to take our country back. From the city, county, state and federal levels. What we have now is leading to ruin. Compromise is no longer an option. Lead our step out of the way. Get strong, get right and get this country, the best on the planet, back on the right track.
Looks like Ambrozic is the right vote !!!
Elaine Thomassian · Rye, New YorkShe has my vote!
Michelle Ambrozic is a classic case of a genuine candidate that wants to work for the people only to be rolled over by special interests . I certainly hope that her grass roots campaign catches fire and she mows down the competition . I marveled when I first saw her campaign poster .It was a bold , fresh , strong statement to the other candidates that warned them they were in for a fight .
When a candidate says they are ready to ” flip the table over ” in Sacramento I listen . Frankly , I want a ” bible carrying ” candidate in politics . Guess who also flipped some tables over to bring about order . Michelle Ambrozic follow the righteous path !
Democrat John Coffey is very ignorant about California law. The California Judicial Board, representing the third branch of government, is responsible for the closing of court houses, not a single Assemblyman. Since Republicans have no say in Sacramento through voting, they must speak out to the press to get the views of the constituents heard. Some Democrats have already heard and support Tim Donnelly, but Mr. Coffey is slow.