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Our View: Headington, Wilk are our top choices

Posted: May 13, 2012 6:00 a.m.
Updated: May 13, 2012 6:00 a.m.

This state primary election season has been the most contentious in recent memory. There has been more than enough emotion, harping and shenanigans for almost all of us. Combine all of the campaign noise with the new selection dynamic of an open primary and the endorsement process has gotten much more complicated.

Many forums have been held to provide voters a look at the candidates, some better than others. One of the most recent, the VIA/VICA/Chamber of Commerce forum, provided viewers a chance to see all four of the 38th Assembly District candidates together and revealed some of their relative strengths and weaknesses.

This format, along with comprehensive interviews with each candidate, was instrumental in helping The Signal  Editorial Board in making its selections for those we would like to see make it to the November election in the 38th District Assembly race. Because of the open primary system, voters will get to select their top candidate regardless of party. The top two vote-getters June 5 will advance to the general election.

Democrat Edward Headington is our first recommendation for the November run-off. Headington’s performance at the forums and editorial board interviews impressed both Republicans and Democrats. Although his moderate social views may cost him some votes, we think his fiscal conservative stances will play well with voters in the 38th District.

We would be happier if Headington were a resident of the Santa Clarita Valley, but we trust that he would keep the district office here.

Headington will need to learn how to represent a district that is slightly to the right of center in a left-of-center Assembly, or his stay in Sacramento, if elected, will be a short one.

Our other choice for the November runoff is Republican Scott Wilk.

Wilk’s knowledge of the issues and workings of Sacramento give him the edge over the other Republican candidates. While other candidates may be ahead in the polls and in fundraising, Wilk is better prepared at this point to engage Sacramento on behalf of the voters and citizens in the 38th Assembly District.

Wilk’s political history in the Santa Clarita Valley is both an asset and a liability. The loudness of both his supporters and detractors is a testament to that. To stay in Sacramento, Wilk will need to transition successfully from the behaviors of a political operative to the visible and more demanding behaviors of an elected legislator.

The editorial board has described our current representative Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, as a good model for legislators in California. His endorsement of Wilk, based on what he knows is needed in Sacramento, should and does carry weight with us.

25th District

The Signal will wait until the November election to give its recommendation for the 25th Congressional District seat. It is clear to us already who will be the candidates in that election. We are expecting to see incumbent Howard “Buck” McKeon go head to head with challenger Lee Rogers.

Both are accomplished. One is a doctor, the co-director of the Amputation Prevention Center at Valley Presbyterian Hospital, and a Democrat trying to be the representative in a historically Republican district. McKeon is a long-time powerful Republican leader who has been in his position for 20 years.


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