Borrego Sun - Since 1949

75th District Race – Marie Waldron vs. Randy Voepel

 

Last updated 6/21/2022 at 10:47am



During this year’s political redistricting, Borrego Springs was moved into the 75th State Assembly District. Formerly represented by Randy Voepel of the 71st District, Borrego voters had two candidates running in the June Primary to represent the 75th. They were Voepel (Rep.), running against Marie Waldron (Rep). The two will once again be running against each other in the November General Election runoff to see who will ultimately represent the 75th and Borrego.

Borrego Springs leaders feel they have been well served by Voepel. However, Waldron won the primary with a good-sized lead of 63.5% to Voepel’s 36.5%.

Prior to redistricting, Waldron had represented the original 75th District since 2012, which probably explains her strong support in the Primary. The District includes southern Riverside County and large portions of San Diego’s East and North County rural areas.

Every 10 years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its electoral districts so that the state’s population is evenly allocated among the new districts.

The new map shows that Waldron’s district picked up a lot of new territory, including Borrego Springs. One staffer commented, “Can you say Delaware and Rhode Island combined? Well, maybe not quite, but almost. Basically, the eastern three quarters of San Diego County.”

Waldron, the Assembly’s Republican leader in the legislature, has served on that body since she was first elected. She has been a Valley Center resident for several years.

Voters will choose from two candidates who have very similar Republican platforms. Randy Voepel states that what “separates him from his opponent is his dedication and commitment to his constituents. His sole focus is the needs, wants, and values of his constituents, not Sacramento lobbyists, or politics.” Waldron’s campaign, likewise, is filled with conservative political advocacy, including that “she is the only one tough enough to represent the rural, unincorporated communities.”

On homelessness, one of the County’s hot issues, they both propose, or rather, talk about similar solutions. Waldron would require treatment for the mentally ill and addicts to help solve the homeless crisis. Voepel also says addiction and mental health must be addressed to solve the issue.

Closer to home, on the hot issue of placing sexually violent predators in Borrego Springs, many agree that Voepel has been extremely helpful to the locals fighting the Wakefield placement in De Anza Resort Country Club; and, currently, the housing of SVP Michael Martinez.

According to Voepel, “First, I have faithfully supported law enforcement, and that will NEVER change. Second, liberal, soft on crime policies have led to a dramatic increase of crime throughout California. I have supported multiple measures to increase penalties, protect our communities, and keep our children safe. Third, disgracefully, the 75th Assembly District is a dumping ground for Sexually Violent Predator’s (SVP’s). The fact that Eastern County San Diego has the highest number of SVP’s in the region is deplorable. I have continuously fought against the placement of SVP’s in our community and will continue to do so. Finally, I have never and will never support the early release of prisoners. It’s time that California starts putting the rights of victims ahead of the criminals.”

While Waldron’s positions on sexual violent predators aren’t well known among Borrego voters, she recently clarified her position in an editorial written, June 11, 2022, stating,

“What happens to sexually violent predators once they’ve served their sentences? Apparently, they get dumped in rural San Diego County.

Rural areas lack resources to supervise conditionally released SVPs and guarantee public safety. In San Diego County, multiple SVPs have been placed in Jacumba Hot Springs, Campo and Boulevard, with proposed placements in communities like Pauma Valley and Borrego Springs.

I’ve written letters in the past opposing placement of SVPs in rural communities, including in 2020 when I wrote to the Superior Court regarding placing an SVP in Pauma Valley. Fortunately, that proposal was blocked, but Borrego Springs is still under consideration to house a convicted child molester. There will be a hearing on July 8, and I have again written a letter to the judge explaining this individual must be placed elsewhere.

Does the state purposely place SVPs in rural locations lacking the clout to generate public outcry that can block these placements, as recently happened in Rancho Bernardo? Currently, the Department of State Hospitals, which oversees placement, contracts with Liberty Healthcare, which then seeks court approval. County District Attorneys aren’t consulted, and have also expressed frustration.

This must stop. That’s why I joined Sen. Brian Jones to co-author Senate Bill 841, requiring the State Hospital Director to approve SVP placements before contracts are signed — with public safety an overriding consideration. Mandated reports would list suitable alternate properties, including properties under Department of Corrections or Forestry and Fire Protection control. The Director would also list counties and supervisorial districts receiving SVPs.

Naturally, San Diego County is one of the bill’s supporters. Unfortunately however, SB 841 was killed in the Senate Public Safety Committee by the Democratic majority. Even so, I’ll keep trying, and I’ll keep doing all I can to block placements of SVPs in rural communities.

Rural San Diego County cannot remain a dumping ground for sexually violent predators.” Marie Waldron.

Undoubtedly, the well-organized group of locals, opposing SVPs in Borrego, will have more to say about the two candidates as the November General Election draws nearer; because Borrego wants representatives who act, as well as talk.

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