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For the final installment in The Inyo Register’s series of candidate statements, California Assembly District 26 incumbent Connie Conway shares with voters her hopes, goals and plans for the future if re-elected.
Conway is running for re-election against Democrat Jonathon Louis Sosa, a student from Visalia.
Both Conway and Sosa were invited to submit statements. Sosa never responded, despite attempts to contact him by mail, phone and e-mail.
Assembly District 26 covers Inyo County, most of Tulare County and a small portion of northern Kern County.
Following is Conway’s candidate’s statement, which was restricted to a maximum of 800. It is being printed verbatim.
Politics wasn’t an early calling for me, but I first ran for office when I was in my fifties. I did it after some encouragement from friends who urged me to follow in the footsteps of my father, who passed away – when he was far too young – at the age of 65. Eight years after his passing, I ran for the same seat he had held on the Board of Supervisors.
Since 2008, it has been an honor to serve as your representative in the Assembly. During this time, I have always stood up for the only special interest group I represent: hard-working taxpayers.
With unanimous support of my colleagues, I was elected in 2010 to serve as the Assembly Republican Leader – a post that has not been held by a woman for 30 years. United under my leadership, Republicans last year blocked Governor Brown’s proposed $58 billion tax increase on Californians. As a result, the average family of four in California received more than $1,000 in annual tax relief.
For the last two years, I have led my caucus in providing fiscally-responsible alternatives to the big government budget priorities of Sacramento Democrats. We have demonstrated that, with political will, we can protect our classrooms and taxpayers – without tax hikes or the Governor’s devastating education trigger cuts.
More recently, I have also led Republicans in working across party lines to introduce Governor Brown’s pension reform plan, which includes many reforms that have been championed by Republicans. Writing about this move, the Los Angeles Times said that, “Golden State Republicans are making themselves relevant again, and putting needed pressure on Democrats to address an important matter.”
In addition, last year the Governor signed legislation I authored which will connect off-highway vehicle trails in Inyo County. This pilot project will help boost the tourism industry in the Eastern Sierra and ensure that the majestic beauty of this precious land is protected now and for generations to come.
With a struggling economy, it’s clear we have many challenges in California. But I believe in hard work, just as you do. As your representative in the Assembly, I strive to make state government smaller, more efficient and more effective.
My top priorities include:
1. Cutting taxes and balancing the state’s budget by ending wasteful spending.
2. Protecting our communities and punishing criminals.
3. Promoting our economy by removing senseless regulations on business.
4. Protecting our future by ensuring high-quality schools.
5. Making our lives less complicated by government.
6. And crucially, supporting efforts to get our farms the water they need.
Sacramento has to start working for us, not against us. We don’t need more programs, more red tape and higher taxes. For many in government, that seems to be the solution.
President Ronald Reagan became my hero when he so wonderfully articulated the tax-and-spend mindset and exposed how dangerous it is.
I am proud to be your personal advocate in Sacramento, not only when I vote on the issues, but in every day matters, too. I am dedicated to providing accurate, prompt and common-sense assistance with state agencies and programs. When you have a complaint, it should be addressed quickly. When you have an idea, it should be considered fairly.
I am honored to be your voice in Sacramento and I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to continue my work to create a recovery in California through lower taxes, less bureaucracy and far more common sense.