October 25, 2002

Endorsement

Shirley Horton for the 78th Assembly District

Every ten years the California Legislature goes through the process of redistrict-ing. During this process the Party in power tries to accomplish two things, the first is to protect incumbents and the second is to create safe districts to ensure the election of a Democrat or Republican, depending on who is in power at the time. This was the case with the 78th Assembly District.

The 78th was redrawn with the intent to favor a Democrat, and in this particular case to favor Vince Hall, a career politician who had served his time being a good soldier, most recently for Governor Gray Davis. That was the intent but along the way to the victory party the Hall campaign ran into trouble.

The first problem came in the primary. The rule of thumb is that the Party stays out of the race and allows the local Democrats run and may the best man win. In the general, the state Party then throws its weight into the race. In the case of the 78th the anointed candidate was falling behind, with councilman George Stevens taking an early lead in the polls. Breaking the rule the state Democratic Party jumped into the race, at the behest of Gov. Davis, Hall’s mentor, infusing Hall’s campaign with much needed funds. Hall barely defeated Stevens in the primary.

The bigger roadblock came when the Republican Party did not rollover and concede the district to the Democrats.

Shirley Horton has served as Mayor of Chula Vista for two full terms and was set to retire from political life. That was until the community and the Republican Party implored her to run for State Assembly. Horton, never one to back down from a challenge, with the intimate knowledge of the district, and with motivation and ideas, threw her hat into the race. Up and down the state this is the most interesting and competive race.

La Prensa supports Horton’s candidacy for the 78th Assembly District because she is of the district. Horton has the background and knows the District. Horton knows what the people want in their communities, she knows what their future hopes are, and she knows what the problems are within the communities. There are no learning curves. As mayor of the second largest city in San Diego County, Horton has the hands on experience of getting things done both at the local level and at the state level. The city of Chula Vista is a great example of a city on the move, growing and developing into a major metropolis. You can ask the residents of Chula Vista ‘are you better off today, than eight years ago?’ the answer would be a resounding yes.

Horton is a moderate Republican whose moral and ethical values are parallel to those within the Hispanic community. Her multicultural upbringing helps her in dealing with the multicultural community that encompasses the 78th and in understanding the issues. And possibly her strongest, suit is her willingness to sit down, listen, and talk to all segments of the community.

The bottom line is do you want a representative who was hand picked by someone in Sacramento, who will be beholden not to the community but to the power structure, someone who is looking for the next step up the political ladder? Or do you want someone in Sacramento who has the district’s best interest at heart, who is from your community?

La Prensa San Diego endorses Shirley Horton as the next Assemblyperson for the 78th District.

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