Reelect Tougher in Bay Space’s solely aggressive Home race

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There are eight aggressive congressional districts in California the place the social gathering of the winner within the Nov. 8 election is unsure. Solely a type of districts touches the Bay Space — simply barely.

For about 11,700 registered voters in far east Contra Costa County who’re appended to the Central Valley’s ninth Congressional District, their selection will assist decide whether or not Democrats or Republicans management the Home of Representatives.

Their choices are Democrat Josh Tougher, a politically reasonable two-term congressman, and Republican Tom Patti, a conservative San Joaquin County supervisor who ducked our questions on key points dealing with the nation right now.

For voters, this shouldn’t be an in depth name. Tougher, D-Tracy, from the fifth era of a Central Valley farming household, deserves reelection. He has labored onerous to guard valley jobs and agriculture whereas additionally advocating for addressing local weather change, wise gun management, accessible well being care, safety of abortion rights and decreasing of prescription drug prices.

For instance of his considerate coverage strategy, contemplate Tougher’s proposed Way forward for Agricultural Resiliency and Modernization (FARM) Act, launched in 2020, which might assist farmers throughout the nation extra successfully struggle local weather change. It will present $2.5 billion in funding to assist farmers scale back greenhouse fuel emissions; improve carbon sequestration; enhance air, water and soil high quality; and convert agriculture by-products to environment friendly makes use of. Lots of these concepts ended up within the Inflation Discount Act the Senate handed on Sunday.

Whereas Tougher witnessed firsthand and condemns the horrific Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol, we don’t know whether or not Patti condones the rebel nor whether or not he subscribes to Donald Trump’s lie that the election was stolen. We even have little concept the place he stands on vital federal coverage points that concern most Californians right now.

That’s as a result of Patti isn’t speaking. Regardless of our repeated calls, his marketing campaign refused to make him obtainable.

What we do know from the general public document is that Patti has cited a debunked research questioning the effectiveness of masks in curbing the unfold of COVID-19, stated he has “but to see” systemic racism on this nation and would eradicate the U.S. Agriculture and Training departments. In accordance with an unbiased investigator employed by San Joaquin County, Patti made derogatory feedback a couple of county worker partially in retaliation for her criticism about him to human assets. His fellow supervisors declined to behave on the report.

The ninth District is sort of totally compacted in San Joaquin County. However, to stability populations in congressional districts throughout the state, it additionally slips into Contra Costa to select up the communities of Discovery Bay and Byron and a sliver of Brentwood.

Occasion registration is what makes the district so aggressive. Whereas Democrats outnumber Republicans by 43%-29%, voters with no social gathering affiliation comprise 21% of the citizens, making the end result something however sure.

Certainly, whereas Tougher got here out forward of Patti within the seven-way open main, all of the Democratic candidates working outpolled the Republicans by simply 1 share level, 50.1%-49.1%. Thus, the November runoff could possibly be very shut, with each vote counting.