SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Both Joe Baca, a Democrat, and Scott Folkens, a Republican, ran unopposed in their primaries for California’s 43rd U.S. House District. There are also no third party candidates. Neither candidate did any noticeable campaigning — mostly because they didn’t have to.
The 43rd District covers San Bernardino County — the largest county in the United States — and part of the state’s Inland Empire.
Elected in 1999, Baca has served Congress as a representative for the 43rd District for 11 years. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and was formerly on the Board of Trustees for the San Bernardino Valley College District. Baca’s son, Joe Baca, Jr., is an assemblyman in the same district. Baca is highly likely to keep his seat. He won in 2008, besting Republican John Roberts with 69.2 percent of the vote.
According to his website, Baca has voted in favor of and introduced bills that he said would help with education, such as increasing the Pell Grant and removing testing mandates of No Child Left Behind so that schools would no longer have to teach to a test. Baca supports universal health care and extending COBRA for the unemployed.
Baca backed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help Americans keep their jobs and says he is the only Inland Empire representative who did so. He is also in favor of ending “Too Big to Fail” and co-sponsored the Helping Families Save their Homes Act. Baca also works toward immigration reform that would help families and sponsored PROUD act to help undocumented high school students to become citizens.
Folkens lives in San Bernardino and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he served for eight years. As a teacher, he helped Bloomington Christian School receive its WASC accreditation.
According to his website, Folkens does not believe that government spending on education is a bad thing, however, due to costs, he does wish to privatize public education. He supports the voucher program for students. Folkens does not believe that government should regulate health care, but he says he believes there are problems with health care.
Folkens says he believes the government spends to much. He supports a flat rate tax. He also says that instead of seeing how much money he can bring to the home district, he would rather set up a “District 43 Fund,” which would be funded for the 43rd District for their own projects without using tax money from other communities. He feels that immigrants should become legal, but admits that it is a complex issue and states that we must find the answers to this situation.
The Race to Congress
The 43rd District does not have polls for the candidates at this time. However, Folkens may have his work cut out for him. Baca has been in office for 11 years and does well enough that nobody really runs against him. If Folkens wants a fair shot in this race, he’s going to have to campaign early and make his presence known. He’s going to have to make sure that the citizens of the 43rd District knows where he stands on issues, and he’s got to be open to the criticism of those citizens and be willing to represent the will of the people over his own beliefs.
If he doesn’t, then Baca could win the race without really trying.
Fighting for California’s 43rd District. Congressman Joe Baca
Folkens 4 Congress. Scott Folken
Statement of Vote November 4 2008. California Secretary of State.