On Saturday, the Calaveras Democrats held their first fundraising dinner and it was sold out in advance. The featured speaker was Democratic Congressional candidate Jessica Morse of Pollock Pines. Also speaking were (top-two primary winners) State Senate District 8 candidate Paulina Miranda, State Assembly District 5 candidate Carla J. Neal and County Supervisor District 3 candidate Merita Callaway. Over 130 local residents attended the event at the Big Red Barn at Vida Buena Farm in Vallecito.

The Calaveras County Democratic Central Committee hopes to raise $4,000 from the event for their Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) campaign in the upcoming election. Laura Lowell, the committee’s chairperson says the group’s members are fired-up about the upcoming election and want to expand upon the success they experienced in the June primary.

The event was emceed by District 2 County Supervisor John “Jack” Garamendi. Garamendi considers it an honor to represent his district in the rough and tumble world of Calaveras County politics and enjoys being “where the rubber meets the road.” His great-grandfather, Terence McSorley, staked a claim and homesteaded the family’s ranch on Highway 49 in the 1860s.

The first candidate to speak was District 4 Congressional candidate Jessica Morse. Morse believes her role as a member of Congress is to be a public servant, not a politician. Incredibly, her campaign has raised over $1.5 million from over 8,000 individual donors and has outraised her opponent, Congressman Tom McClintock, by more than $250,000.

Morse once hiked across the entire district on the Pacific Crest Trail and expressed her campaign’s primary goal, “We’re going to tell McClintock to take a hike.”

Morse went on to say, “We have a member of Congress who has been voting against us every step of the way. He blocked access to broadband. He voted to block adequate funding for wildfire prevention. He voted to take away health care from 300,000 people in our district that have pre-existing conditions. He called pre-existing conditions a nuisance. These are matters of life and death and we need somebody in Congress who understands that.”

The second candidate to speak was state Senate candidate Paulina Miranda. Miranda is a pharmacist, a mathematics teacher and a resident of Fresno County where 57 percent of District 8 voters reside. Her top three issues are expanding our water supply, Health Care for All and assisting seniors living on fixed incomes.

The third candidate was state Assembly candidate Carla J. Neal. Neal lives in Madera County, has 25 years of experience teaching in public schools and has served as a school board trustee. She is a strong supporter of renewable energy programs, combating climate change and affordable housing.

The final speaker was Calaveras County District 3 candidate Merita Callaway. Callaway has over 20 years of experience as a former Calaveras County supervisor, and she is not happy with the way the county government is now functioning. She supports strict regulation of cannabis, improving the county’s infrastructure and living within the county’s budget.

The common theme among all the candidates was how passionate they are about wanting to serve our community. This event was a wonderful opportunity for foothill voters to meet these candidates (in-person), kick the tires and ask questions about important issues.

Congressman Tom McClintock hasn’t made an appearance at a public town hall meeting in District 4 since October of last year. In 2016, he held 15 town hall meetings. Obviously, McClintock does not want to be held accountable by district voters for his recent voting record or the failure of the Republican Party to be a check on the president.

It is not an exaggeration when Morse says McClintock has consistently voted against the interests of district voters. It is time for foothill voters to say enough is enough. We will not support candidates who do not support us.

Marc Boyd resides in Arnold. He is an educator, a businessman and former Democratic candidate for Assembly in the Foothill District.

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