This week, voters began to receive sample ballots in the mail for the June 6 primary election. The top two vote-getters in the primary will face off in the Nov. 6 general election.
To provide voters with information about the candidates for the 10th Congressional District race, the Tracy Press and Patterson Irrigator sent a joint questionnaire to the candidates. They were asked 11 questions on topics that include transportation, health care, immigration, business and agriculture issues. They were also asked about their qualifications for office.
Ted Howze's responses are printed unedited below. Learn more about Ted Howze at his campaign website, www.tedhowze.com.
Why do you believe you will best represent the 10th California Congressional District?
Because amongst the field of candidates, my level of experience and expertise in public safety, business acumen, community service, government budgeting and real economic development that’s resulted in hundreds of verifiable high-paying jobs within our valley separates me from the pack as the most qualified candidate.
Why did you decide to run for Congress?
I chose to run because many of my friends encouraged me to knowing that I'm a roll up my sleeves and get things accomplished kind of guy who will work hard for the benefit of our District and to put America back on a long term economically sustainable path.
What is your prior experience in elected office and what do you count as your two most important accomplishments?
As a Turlock City Councilmember 2006-2010 my top two accomplishments were:
1) Leading the City budget committee for four years and developing, in conjunction with our Chief of Police and Fire Chief, a historic public safety strategic plan that modernized and expanded our city's public safety services and infrastructure in a revenue neutral manner. We added nearly two dozen Police officers and nine firefighters while other cities were laying public safety personnel off.
2) My biggest accomplishment was being the financial architect of Turlock's Regional Industrial Park. I drove the project and prevailed in funding it in the face of Jerry Brown's threats to steal Turlock's redevelopment funds. We now have five hundred of new high paying jobs in the region today with a projected three thousand more expected to be created over the coming decade.
The district is comprised of a variety of areas that derive their economy from different sources. What economic policies do you favor for agriculture-based businesses?
Most agricultural operations in the Valley are small businesses. I will ardently oppose federal agencies overzealous new regulations that would impose added costs and burdensome red tape as well as fighting for permanent inheritance tax relief for family farmers and ranchers.
Specifically for our region, I will propose legislation bundling all our regional specialty agricultural crops (asparagus, cherries, strawberries, peaches, etc.) into an Agricultural Marketing Agreement that requires imported products to meet the same grade, size, quality and maturity standards as our domestic products during our peak harvest periods.
What economic policies do you favor for logistics businesses?
Logistic provider have two main needs: Modern infrastructure to move freight plus a dual skilled work force of high tech and maintenance technicians to keep products moving. Infrastructure is a pressing need at both the Federal & State level and I fully support investment in our crumbling infrastructure. I would propose a Federal partnership with the State of California and local school districts to provide education and outreach programs to support the logistics and manufacturing sectors. I favor a program where high school students can opt into a program to receive a concurrent degree in choice trade skills such as logistical programming, automation and robotics maintenance or diesel mechanic certification. Programs like this can help our region meet the workforce demands of a growing industry while allowing local residents to make a great living in the industry.
What economic policies do you support for small businesses?
Small businesses are the life blood of the American economy and I will only support policies that reduce tax burdens, regulatory costs and burdensome red tape.
What can the federal government do to attract business to the 10th Congressional District?
I will introduce legislation to create jointly funded Federal/State/Local redevelopment authority for rural agricultural counties nationwide. The new Redevelopment authorities would have the dual goal of rebuilding blighted areas of our valley communities into high density live-work spaces and investing into the regions high-tech agricultural processing industries. The goal is to decrease urban sprawl, increase affordability of housing locally, reduce traffic and increase jobs within our powerful agricultural region.
Ease and frequency of mass transportation is an important issue throughout the district. How will your policies address transportation needs?
Previously serving as Turlock's representative to the Stanislaus Council of Governments, the county transportation agency, I gained extensive background working with regional transportation needs and public transit issues. I firmly believe because most daily commutes are work related, that investment in local and regional public transportation needs to be prioritized ahead of State-wide projects. I favor immediately stopping work on Governor Jerry Brown's over-budget High Speed Rail project and investing the remaining funds into Altamont Corridor Express (ACE Train) modernization and expansion deeper into the Valley.
What groups or individuals have endorsed your candidacy?
We are currently collecting endorsements.
What is your position on DACA / immigration?
I believe the status of all DACA registrants who are not already seeking citizenship should be frozen in place as protected until such time as a comprehensive package of border security and immigration reforms are signed into law. Only afterward should every DACA registrant be given ample time to apply for a legal path citizenship.
How should Congress address health care access for people in the 10th Congressional District?
We cannot continue down the current path. The rapid expansion of Medicaid service by the States that the federal government's reimbursement premium has fueled is unsustainable.
The National healthcare debate continues to be heated but I would propose creating a bi-partisan commission of our most qualified 15 Representative and 10 Senators to craft a new national healthcare policy requiring 75% majority for passage with the stated mission to create an affordable national healthcare solution with stipulation that all members of government past and present shall be subject to the final result.
Ted Howze DVM