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UPDATE: Race taking shape for Santa Clarita Valley Assembly district

Posted: March 23, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 23, 2014 2:00 a.m.

A Democratic challenger has signed up to take on Republican and Santa Clarita Valley resident Scott Wilk in the 38th Assembly District, while Wilk says he will seek to keep his seat as he winds down his first two-year stint in the state Capitol’s lower house.

Wilk told The Signal this week he is “absolutely” running for re-election.

“There’s a lot of unfinished business,” he said when asked why he is seeking another term. “I’m working with the governor to make sure we have a balanced budget, but we also need to do more to grow the economy, so that’s going to be my focus.”

After emerging from an at-time contentious primary battle in 2012, Wilk defeated Democrat Edward Headington with 56.9 percent of the vote in the 2012 race to replace former Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, who was termed out of office.

Despite being a Republican in Democrat-dominated Sacramento, Wilk said he thinks he has been able to work effectively across the aisle.

“The fact of the matter is we agree on stuff 75 to 80 percent of the time, so I think partisanship doesn’t have the rancor like it does in Washington, D.C.,” Wilk said.

“You can definitely honor your principles and still be effective in Sacramento,” he added.

The other candidate who has emerged in the early going is Jorge Salomon Fuentes, who is running as a Democrat.
Fuentes lives in Valencia and has called the Santa Clarita Valley home since 1997.

On his campaign website, Fuentes lists his top issues as “food, housing, transportation, environment, education and health care programs.”

Some of his priorities, if elected, are to increase public transportation funding, improve eligibility for affordable housing programs and to increase the number of families eligible for food assistance, according to his website.

Reached by phone Friday, Fuentes said he sees the election as a way to further his public service efforts.

“It’s a continuation of volunteering and giving back to the community,” he said.

The 38th Assembly District encompasses the majority of the Santa Clarita Valley, including Agua Dulce, Castaic, Stevenson Ranch and Val Verde, as well as Simi Valley and northern sections of the San Fernando Valley.

The state primary is June 3, and the general election is Nov. 4.


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