A newly redrawn State Assembly District 75 means two incumbent Republican candidates will square off against each other in the June primary election, with a spot already guaranteed for both in the November general election.
Current District 75 Assemblywoman Marie Waldron will be running against current District 71 Assemblyman Randy Voepel.
Previously, District 75 covered an area from Temecula to Escondido. But the redrawn district covers a much larger area now from south Riverside county to the Mexico border, including Fallbrook, Bonsall, Valley Center, Ramona, Poway, Santee, Jamul and Lakeside.
NBC 7 spoke with constituents in Lakeside for their opinions on the two candidates and their platforms.
“To me what’s important is just getting the Spirit of America back. I feel we’ve gone a different direction,” said Paul Sprecco, a long-time Lakeside resident who’s now retired.
“The housing market is top of mind for me. A lot of people are having rents go up, people are getting 60 days-notice because the owners want to sell the place,” said Ginger Rich, who’s owned Reflections Spa and Salon in Lakeside for nine years.
Voters will have to chose from two candidates who have very similar platforms.
Voepel opposes any new taxes. He’s in favor of lowering the gas tax.
He supports increased penalties for crime, according to his campaign website.
Waldron, who co-authored a plan to suspend the gas tax for six months, supports a middle-class tax cut, according to her campaign website.
Those platforms are exactly what voters like Sprecco are looking for.
“I look for something or somebody that’s going to make things easy for people to live and for businesses to operate. Not somebody that’s going to regulate, throttle, or do anything to control,” said Sprecco.
The candidates also share similar platforms when it comes to two other hot-button topics.
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.
On that topic, Rich, who holds an annual haircut event for the homeless, agrees with both candidates.
“A lot of the homeless that I’ve come across do have a mental illness, do have schizophrenia, and they’re not able to get the resources, maybe because it’s local or it’s hard to get to, but they need the resources to get the medical attention,” said Rich.
Meanwhile, on the topic of gun reform Voepel says all law-abiding citizens should be entitled to own firearms. He says he will oppose any and all efforts to restrict 2nd Amendment rights.
“I believe that we should have a right to have a gun, and go through classes for responsibility to have that gun and be responsible. I believe that’s our right,” said Rich.
Waldron also is pledging to improve the school system, and says she strongly opposes “anti-American teaching.”
“We need to teach our history, constitution and Founding Fathers!” says Waldron on her web page.
“Schools should be educating our children in the fundamentals of education, what we send them to school for. Let the parents take care of the other, religious, cultural or sexual orientation based training, said Sprecco.
For now, both Sprecco and Rich, who generally agree with both candidates’ platforms, say they haven’t decided on a candidate.
NBC 7 has repeatedly reached out to both candidates asking specifically: “what separates you from your opponent.”
Voepel on Monday responded with the following written statement:
"What separates Randy Voepel 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 lobbyist, politics, or money.”
Waldron has not responded.