David Dreier has been my representative in Congress for 30 years it's hard to realize that on the Nov. 6 ballot this year I have a distinct choice of representative and party. Likewise, the race for State Assembly evens out the choice, if not exactly the demographics.
Newly drawn district lines have changed not only the Congressional District, the 27th District, but also the State Assembly District, now known as State Assembly District 41. The choices in both U. S. Congress and California State Assembly are quite clear cut, although equivocation is the game of the day.
The Congressional race is between incumbent Judy Chu (D-El Monte) and newcomer, Republican Jack Orswell. The 27th District includes Sierra Madre, Pasadena, South Pasadena, San Marino, San Gabriel, Alhambra, Rosemead, Temple City, Arcadia, Monterey Park, a part of Monrovia and Altadena. Because the district includes much of the local Angeles National Forest, the map of the district embraces parts of Glendora, Claremont and Upland.
Chu has represented her district, the 32nd Congressional District, since 2009—and has won handily in that configurated district through strong backing from the Asian community that made up something like 57% of the old district. Her challenge will be to be as welcomed by the more Republican-style Chinese that reside in places like San Marino and Arcadia.
Orswell is attempting to show he can replace the liberal Democrat with Republican ideals, but to date has been somewhat reluctant to reveal exactly what that means. Orswell must find a way to become known to voters and provide evidence he can bring home the bacon as Dreier has done during his three decades of service and be a spokesman for the District while being cooperative with Republican goals.
On the issues, Chu follows the party-line: favors abortion rights; a Constitutional Amendment for women's equal rights; supports federal funding for health coverage; and so on. I could find no stance on economic issues for the Congresswoman, though it may have been issued and I missed it.
On the other side, Orswell is not so clear cut, though he certainly stands with Republicans. Economic issues are at the top of Orswell's list. He says he favors no government program or intervention, saying, "step aside and watch what happens", his response to a League of Women Voters questionnaire. He worries about the national debt; supports a private industry solution to energy problems; supports repeal of the Affordable Care Act, though he would replace that legislation with a competitive health care market.
Their personal biographies are as different as day and night with the notable exception that they were both born in Los Angeles County Chu in Los Angeles, Orswell in Pasadena. Chu is age 59 while Orswell is 62.
Chu earned her Bachelor's degree from UCLA in mathmatics and holds a doctorate in psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. She began her career as an educator, teaching psychology at LACC and ELAC for 20 years. She was elected to the Garvey School District Board of Education in 1985, served on the Monterey Park City Council and held three terms as mayor. She ran successfully for California State Assembly, was elected to the State Board of Equalization before winning her seat in the pre-redistricted 32nd district.
Orswell attended Pasadena High School, Pasadena City College; graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration degree. He holds a Masters of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership from Woodbury University. He was appointed Special Agent with the FBI, serving in various posts for 15 years. Moving to private industry, Orswell began his own business in 1990 to provide environmental assessments for financial institutions, real estate companies and law firms. That business is located in Monrovia. He has been involved in several community-related activities, winning top local awards for his efforts.
Chu's campaign reported holding $1,147,883 in cash at the end of April (the last reporting period) having spent $221,171 on both the primary and the November election.
Orswell reported having $34,053 in cash at the end of April. His campaign reports spending $46,120 on the primary and the November election.
Chu has no listed events. Orswell will hold a telephone "conference" allowing supporters to ask questions tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 2. at 7:00 p.m.
Next blog: Who's best—Pasadena Councilman Holden or Businesswoman Lowe?