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Imperial Valley Press Endorses Ron Oden for State Assembly! May 30, 2006

Posted by ronodenmedia in Endorsements, In the Media.
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Oden endorsed in 80th Assembly District

In the 80th Assembly Dis­trict, incumbent Assem­blywoman Bonnie Garcia, R-Cathedral City, is run­ning unopposed in next week's primary election. The only question for Garcia is which of the two Democratic contenders, Steve Clute or Ron Oden, she will face in November.
Clute is a former assembly­man and has received the offi­cial backing of his party; Oden, the sitting mayor of Palm Springs, believes he is in a better position to challenge the incumbent in the fall based on his hands-on experi­ence at the municipal govern­ment level.
We think he has a point.
While Clute already knows the legislative ropes and his way around the state Capitol, institutional knowledge is less important to us than innova­tive thinking and bold initia­tive, both of which Oden seems to possess in abun­dance.
Not only that, but Oden is by far the more passionate and charismatic of the two candi­dates.
The problem for both men, at least where the Imperial Valley is concerned, is that neither has much name recognition out­side Riverside County.
Of the two, Clute is probably better known locally, mainly due to his pre­vious years in the Legislature, but Oden has been a frequent visitor of late and there seems to be a healthy buzz about his prospects among the party faithful we have consulted.
It is something of a depar­ture for us to make an en­dorsement in a contested pri­mary election, but we are making an exception in this race because we believe voters in this part of the 80th district would benefit from a vigorous campaign in the general elec­tion to come. It isn't that we think the incumbent has been giving short shrift to her Imperial Valley constituency, because she has never failed to respond when the need arose. Our main com­plaint with the level of representation that Garcia has provided to Imperial County residents is that it has been all too perfunctory.
Both Clute and Oden have seized on this perceived shortcoming on the part of the incumbent in their contest with each other. Either would be able to engage her on the range of issues that confront our combined desert region, starting with the Salton Sea and extending to trans-border energy generation in the Mex­icali Valley.
But Oden appears to us to be the more polished cam­paigner, and we were frankly impressed by his grasp of the issues during our single edito­rial board meeting with him earlier this month. Clute rep­resents the old way, which comes with certain advantages but also poses its own draw­backs.
Still, Ron Oden will be fac­ing a real test against this sea­soned political veteran — and the party apparatus that is lined up behind him. While we wonder if the Imperial and Coachella valleys are ready for the new politics Oden person-i­fies, we believe he offers a fresh perspective.
And he has earned our en­dorsement.

 

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