By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews):
Needles, California: In the upcoming election in November 2020, voters locally will be making their decision on who will be representing the people as California’s State Assembly District 33.
The California’s State Assembly District 33 covers the San Bernardino County communities of Needles, California as well as Adelanto, Apple Valley, Baker, Barstow, Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, Big River, Crestline, Helendale, Hesperia, Lake Arrowhead, Lenwood, Lucerne Valley, Phelan, Running Springs, Trona and Victorville.
Recently, ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary Lopez meet with the candidates running for California’s State Assembly District 33 well they were visiting Needles, California, and later sent out questions to the candidates on what the community would like answer before they make their voting decision on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020.
The following is questions and answers from California State Assembly District 33 Candidate Thurston “Smitty” Smith:
(Responses and Answers by Candidate in “Quotation Marks”)
*** Candidate’s Background: ***
– Your full name?
“Thurston “Smitty” Smith”
– Background about yourself:
“In 1988, I started my concrete pumping business in the High Desert. Running a small business in California is what got me interested in finding solutions to reduce regulations in our State. I was also a little league coach in Hesperia and was eventually talked into running for City Council in Hesperia. I served two terms as a Councilmember and was appointed by my peers three times to serve as Mayor. The opportunity to run for the 33rd Assembly District came up when Assemblyman Obernolte decided to run for the 8th Congressional District. Many of my neighbors and local leaders asked me to consider it and, after talking to my wife and praying, decided to give it a shot.”
*** The Topics and Questions: ***
– What are your stands on issues facing our state, including the COVID-19 pandemic and shut down, law enforcement and protests, state funding, housing especially regarding homelessness and education?
“Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic and government lockdown has tested our economy to the limits. We need to rebuild and renew our local economy in the 33rd district and reducing regulations and letting the free market work will put us back on track. I am proud to be endorsed by San Bernardino County Law Enforcement Officers because they know that I am committed to keeping our neighborhoods safe. I am adamantly opposed to the defund the police movement.”
– What would you to address these issue mentioned if you are elected?
“Ultimately, working with my peers is key to getting anything done in Sacramento. This means working across the isle with republicans and democrats to build consensus on these issues.”
– Regarding our community of Needles, California, what will you do to make sure our small desert tri-state community isn’t forgotten or ignored when it comes decisions that may affect our community?
“Needles is a small, but resilient community in the 33rd District. Unfortunately, Sacramento continues to increase taxes and most of the residents go across the river to get their fuel, groceries, and basic necessities. I plan to continue the trend of having mobile office hours in Needles to ensure that we are addressing the needs of Needles from a constituent service and legislative level.”
– Have you spoken to local officals and citizens about our community, and what are the issues you would work on if you are elected?
“During this campaign, I have made several trips to Needles to visit with local community leaders, businesses, and government officials. I’m also proud to be endorsed by Needles Mayor Jeff Williams and will continue to have meaningful dialogue on how we can help Needles in Sacramento.”
– What do you think of the treatment by the state on small communities like Needles, California regarding policies, taxes, regulations and restrictions, especially when the community of Needles, California is competition with two other states for residents and businesses?
“I think the community of Needles needs to send a fighter from our District to reduce a lot of these new mandates that seem to come out of Sacramento on a weekly basis. Resilient communities like Needles aren’t looking for handouts, they’re looking for a hand up to reduce regulations and taxes – that is why I’m running for this seat.”
– If people would like any more information about you, what are the different ways the people can reach out to you?
Thank you Thurston “Smitty” Smith for answering our questions from the community.
Good luck to all of the candidates and do not forget to vote in the Election 2020.