Shaw faces Smyth for 38th seat

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“That’s a battle right there, to get more Democrats to turn out, and to get the independents to recognize that (Smyth) can’t do much in Sacramento,” said Bruce McFarland, president of the Santa Clarita Democratic Alliance for Action. Shaw, 48, of Sun Valley, won her party’s nomination with 33 percent of the vote. Jim Alger finished second with 29 percent, followed by Jane Lowenthal and Sid Gold. Smyth, 34, a two-term Santa Clarita councilman, took 80 percent of the Republican vote and received more votes by himself than all four Democratic candidates combined. He still commands a campaign war chest of $140,000, compared with Shaw’s roughly $30,000 so far. “I’m feeling pretty good for November because it’s a pretty safe Republican district,” Smyth said Wednesday. “That being said, I don’t take anything for granted.” Shaw, a human services administrator who works for a nonprofit group serving the developmentally disabled, said the Santa Clarita Valley will be a prime battleground in the coming months. “It’s just talking to folks one-on-one in our community,” Shaw said. “Do we have jobs? What is development going to mean? What do we do about health care? “I care about people. I care about education and whether we have the money to fund it. I care about people who have to make decisions whether they would buy food or health care and their prescription drugs.” Smyth focused on quality-of-life issues such as traffic congestion and education. “Republicans and Democrats hate sitting in traffic equally,” said Smyth, who supports preventing the Legislature from raiding Proposition 42 funds – a gasoline tax for road improvements. He also supports a bill proposed by Richman and state Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, that could break up the 727,000-student Los Angeles Unified School District into at least 15 smaller school districts. “The public education system … Simi Valley and Santa Clarita have great public schools, but the kids in L.A. Unified don’t,” he said. But differences emerge in their stances on social issues, with Shaw supporting keeping abortions legal. “There are areas the government needs to be involved in,” she said. “I don’t think the government should be involved in personal decisions. “With all the issues facing the country – we have gasoline prices skyrocketing – I can’t tell you how many of our friends are trying to decide which one of their cars to sell to pay for the gas. And we have a war going on. These are the big issues.” Smyth opposes gay marriage and supports the death penalty. He also supports tougher border security paid for by the federal government, and limiting the rights of illegal immigrants. “I don’t believe illegal immigrants should be paying in-state tuition for our university system,” Smyth said. “I’m not willing to dismiss a guest worker program out-of-hand, but the very first thing we need to do is secure the border, and no other discussion should happen until that is accomplished.” Shaw shared Smyth’s view of holding the federal government responsible for illegal immigration, but disagreed with stationing National Guardsmen on the U.S.-Mexico border. “I don’t really support the idea of the National Guard defending our borders,” she said. “It’s too much of a troop commitment. But it’s a federal issue. It’s up to us to lobby the federal government … so we don’t get the bill for it.” Smyth acknowledged he will be in the minority in the Legislature if elected, and says he would cross the aisle when compromise is needed. “I fully understand that I’m going to be a member of the minority party, and not everything I hope to accomplish can be accomplished,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean you don’t fight for what you believe in.” B.J. Atkins, a board member of the Santa Clarita Republican Assembly, said Smyth has to stay the course to get elected. “We’re a Republican community,” he said. “That’s the electorate. He needs to be himself. If he can prove he is the capable leader he always has been, he can gain popular support. He’ll reflect his district admirably.” McFarland believes Shaw, a mainstay in the state Democratic party, is the right choice if voters want to get things done in Sacramento. “He’s (Smyth) way outnumbered; he has to make friends with Democrats to get anything done. Why not just put a Democrat in? … I think Shaw is willing to work in the system. We’ll see if we can get to know her a little better.” [email protected] (661)257-5253160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Democrat Lyn Shaw won the bitter internal fight to represent her party in the 38th Assembly District race, but tougher battles await in November when she faces formidable GOP nominee and Santa Clarita Councilman Cameron Smyth. It’s an uphill fight to replace termed-out Assemblyman Keith Richman, R-Granada Hills, even Democratic partisans acknowledged Wednesday. To get elected, Shaw needs to overcome a 43-34 percent registration gap between Republicans and Democrats in a conservative-leaning district that includes the Santa Clarita Valley, the north and east San Fernando Valley and Simi Valley. About 17 percent of those registered in the district declined to state a party affiliation. Still, Tuesday’s primary saw 17,747 ballots cast for the Democrats to 23,140 for Smyth and GOP candidate Mary Barrientos. last_img read more