As a former U.S. Marshal and Los Angeles police officer, Lodi resident Tony Amador hopes to use his law enforcement experience to reduce crime throughout the district.
He would first focus on eliminating or reducing the release of people from prison because the budget savings are not worth the risk to the public's safety, he said. He also plans to advocate for reinstating the death penalty as soon as possible.
When it comes to the state budget, Amador said he would like to see a higher percentage of the state's money going to law enforcement, especially to combat gang violence. The state should place higher value on certain services and employees, he said. For example, a teacher, a fireman, a police officer, a librarian and an administrative clerk should all be looked at based on necessity, instead of making equal cuts across the board.
"We are providing everything to everyone, and taxpayers are screaming, 'I can't take it anymore!'" Amador said. "I don't believe that the government's function should be the womb-to-tomb or cradle-to-grave problems."
Having lived in both Elk Grove and Lodi, Amador said he understands the district and has talked with small business owners who feel burdened by California's regulations. He recently spoke with truck drivers who have had to retrofit their engines to meet environmental requirements, and he was upset to find out that national corporations are looking for ways to avoid shipping goods through California.
"Environmental regulations have hurt California," Amador said. "The people are underemployed or they have stopped looking for work, and it's the state bureaucracy that is causing that."
One of his main suggestions is putting sunset clauses on laws or programs that restrict businesses. Instead of trying to repeal the bill, Amador said, the sunset clause will "let it die a natural death," instead of stirring up supporters.
He plans to have an office in the district, and said people want someone with whom they can talk directly.
"I want people to know I'm their representative, and if they don't like me to vote me out," he said.