SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — The primary election is more than two months away, but the candidates running are set, including in one of the state’s new Assembly districts.
The state’s newly drawn 74th Assembly District stretches from Laguna Niguel down the coast to Oceanside in San Diego County. The new district also includes Camp Pendleton and has picked up cities such as San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and Vista.
What You Need To Know
- Duncan is the current mayor pro Tem of San Clemente
- Davies currently represents the state 73rd Assembly District
- Election data shows less than a quarter percentage separates voter registration for Democrats and Republicans in the district
- The primary is on June 7
Two candidates are going for the open seat: Democrat Chris Duncan who’s the current mayor pro tem of San Clemente and Republican Laurie Davies who was the former Laguna Niguel mayor who currently represents the 73rd Assembly District.
Ducan said he’s running for the Assembly seat because, “we in San Clemente have never really had representation at the state level.”
“We’ve never have had somebody from San Clemente in Sacramento,” he added.
Davies is hoping to continue to be a member of the state Assembly.
“Making good policy not only for my district, but for everyone, is so important,” she said.
The two candidates have very different backgrounds.
“I was a homeland security attorney for my whole career,” Duncan said.
Davies is a small business owner.
“You know, I’ve had to sign paychecks, so I know what it’s like. So I know that certain policy can really hurt businesses,” she said.
They also have very different priorities for the district. Duncan walked along the beach just north of the San Clemente Pier as he explained his priority.
“We need to do everything we can to make sure our coastline is protected. And stabilizing our climate is the biggest part of that,” he said.
Duncan said he doesn’t just talk about the issues. When he was in the market for a pickup truck, he picked a hybrid pickup.
“Talk is cheap. It matters really what you do. Action is what matters,” Duncan said.
He said he wants to be a good example for people to transition to lower emission vehicles, “because emissions again, is something we can do as individuals to help stabilize the climate.”
As she filled up, Davies explained her priority starts at the gas pump. She said people need a break from the state’s gas tax.
“We’re looking at $6.39 right now per gallon. We could take that $0.50 right now immediately, which would really give us relief,” she said.
She said high prices at the pump are connected to her other priority: public safety. She explains the connection as, “Anytime you have a problem with affordability that comes with crime. You see people shop lifting because they can’t afford to pay for these items. You see, like I said, breaking into cars and taking their gasoline.”
So Davies said to help reduce crime she wants to help bring back the affordability she enjoyed when she first came to California to attend college.
“You didn’t have to work five jobs just to put food on the table. But that’s where we’re at now,” Davies said.
According to the Secretary of State’s 2020 voter registration data, less than a quarter percentage separate the Democrats and Republicans in the 74th District.
Even though the two have faced off in the past and Duncan lost in the 2020 primary race for the 73rd Assembly seat, he said he’s ready for another shot at it.
“Nothing worth having are things that you win automatically or easily,” Duncan said.
Both candidates said they look forward to the opportunity to serve the community.
“This is something I truly love,” Davies said.
“Really, that’s why I run for elected office,” Duncan said.
The primary is on June 7, but since there are only two candidates running, it’s like a trial run for the election in November.