Logue simplifies confusing races in North State
HOME: Loma Rica.
OCCUPATION: Assemblyman/small business owner.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Elected to Assembly in 2008, previously served on Yuba County Board of Supervisors since elected in 2002.
OCCUPATION: Olive farmer, retired postal worker.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Member of the Corning Healthcare District since 2007.
OCCUPATION: Retired Pacific Gas & Electric Co. employee and union official.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Candidate for Assembly in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
OCCUPATION: Graduate student, CSU Chico and farmer.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: None.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Elected to Assembly in 2008. Previously served on state Board of Parole and Prison Terms after serving in state Senate from 1978 to 1990.
OCCUPATION: Chico Unified School District trustee.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: CUSD board member since 2004.
Until recently, talking about the special election for the 4th State Senate District also involved talking about the race in the 3rd State Assembly District.
After all, 3rd District Assemblyman Dan Logue was saying he would be on the ballot for both seats as a Republican, and current 2nd District Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, also a Republican, was bypassing running against Logue in the Assembly to take a shot at the state Senate seat.
But Logue's decision earlier this month to drop the Senate bid for health reasons simplified both races, with Logue running for a final term against Democrat and Corning-area resident Charles Rouse in the Assembly. In the Senate race, Nielsen, R-Gerber, could be considered the favorite in a field of four active candidates.
Rouse, a retired postal employee and small olive farmer, said he's running on a moderate, common-sense platform where he won't be afraid to do what's right, regardless of party direction.
"Republicans and Democrats can agree on practical solutions," said Rouse, 69. "I'm not going to be a career politician because I don't have the time to be."
Fixing the state's finances will take both putting its budgeting under standard accounting norms and running a full audit, then beginning a conversation with California residents on what they want from the state and how to pay for it, he said.
For his part, Logue, R-Loma Rica, said his priority if re-elected would be rebuilding the state's economy, particularly in the hard-hit, largely rural 3rd.
"We feel like the district reflected our priorities," said Logue, whose district boundaries before redistricting encompassed 75 percent of the new 3rd. "It's about getting the rural state back on track."
Logue said he will push for a bill defining "point of origin" rights for water and also continue his work on stopping regulations from hurting small businesses. Though Democrats are likely to remain the majority party in the Assembly, Logue said, he's confident he can get bipartisan backing for at least some of his objectives.
Rouse also listed small business help and water rights as priorities for him.
In the state Senate race, Nielsen looks to return to a chamber he occupied until the early 1990s. To get back there, he will have to beat Dan Levine and Jann Reed, both no-party-preference candidates from Butte County, and Mickey Harrington, a frequent Democratic candidate for state office from Magalia.
At a candidate forum last week in Yuba City, Nielsen consistently advocated for government reform and no new taxes, saying they would simply add to an unsolved problem.
"Get government back on track by being prudent, not profligate," said Nielsen, a member of the Assembly Budget Committee. "Taxes are not the answer. Fixing government from the inside is."
Harrington, a retired Pacific Gas & Electric Co. employee and union official, had an opposing tack from Nielsen on almost every issue, saying he supported Proposition 30, which would increase taxes to close state budget gaps.
But he also said there is a need to cross party lines and take a critical stance on occasion.
"I'm not locked so much into ideas as in reaching agreement," he said at the forum, earlier describing himself as "a professional negotiator and investigator."
Levine, a California State University, Chico, graduate student and member of a farming family, said he would have a moderate approach and would also direct much of his energy to reducing federal regulations that affect commerce.
"One thing I think I can offer that's different from the others is why I came here," said Levine, originally from New Jersey. "Out here, we still have the ability to rent land, own land and take back our state."
Reed, a small business owner and Chico schools trustee, said she has seen firsthand the impact state budget cuts have had on public education.
But she said she is also sensitive to business' concerns.
"One of the problems with regulations is no one is looking at the regulations currently, while putting more on top," she said at the forum.
Logue and Ben Emery of Nevada County will also appear on the Nov. 6 ballot for the state Senate seat, though neither is actively campaigning.
If no candidate receives a majority of the votes then, a runoff of the top-two vote getters will be held in early January.
Whoever wins would face another election in 2014 for a full four-year term.
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at email@example.com or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.