Published on April 29th, 2016 | by Reporters Desk0
Senate District 35 Candidate’s Forum
By Lyn Jensen, Carson Reporter
On April 20, Steve Bradford and Warren Furutani, Democrats, former assembly members, and candidates for the 35th Senate District, participated in a debate at California State University Dominguez Hills.
California’s 35th Senate District includes San Pedro, Wilmington, North and West Long Beach, Harbor City, the Harbor Gateway, Carson and West Carson, Torrance, Gardena, Compton, Lawndale, Lennox, Inglewood and Hawthorne.
Current election law dictates that, for state legislative seats, the two candidates receiving the most votes in the primary compete in the general election. Unless the upcoming June 7 primary takes an unpredicted turn, these men look to be around for the Nov. 7 election. One of them will probably be Carson’s next representative in the state senate.
Two other Senate District 35 candidates, Compton council member Isaac Galvan, a Democrat, and Torrance school teacher Charlotte Svolos, a Republican, are not campaigning at the same level as Furutani and Bradford. Neither participated in the debate.
Education was the dominant topic, perhaps because the debate was sponsored by two universities — CSUDH and UCLA. Over about two hours, the candidates and panelists traded facts and figures. The candidates expressed similar views — that education, particularly technical education, is a solution to many other issues including unemployment, homelessness, poverty, hunger, racism and the economy.
The men also agreed they supported bringing back redevelopment agencies as a way to develop affordable housing and address homelessness, even though they originally voted to eliminate them several years ago.
“One vote I truly regret,” Bradford said. “We never saw one cent of that money.” He was referring to the money that was supposed to be saved by eliminating the agencies.
Furutani said that although the agencies did have “bad actors … people getting contracts they shouldn’t,” the solution should’ve been, “mend it, not end it.”
Both candidates also suggested legalizing marijuana, such as an initiative on the November ballot proposes, could be one solution to prison overcrowding.