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The following article was posted on May 14th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 10 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 15, Issue 10

A long line of candidates wants Lois Capps' seat in the House


The crowd is thick in the race for U.S. Rep. Lois Capps’ (D-Santa Barbara) seat in Congressional District 24: Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. Nine candidates are registered for the June primary, but if you follow the money, Capps is holding her incumbent head well above the rest of the political hopefuls. She’s brought $1.3 million into campaign coffers, while the next closest fundraiser is Republican Justin Fareed, who’s managed to collect almost $225,000 from his supporters. Everyone else falls in line somewhere behind them. 

But the countdown to the primary is here, and with less than a month left to go, here’s the quick skinny on five of the candidates—in no particular order. Remember, though, the stances expressed in this article are compacted because of space. In order to really check out the candidates and what they think of the issues, be sure to visit their websites. This is the second portion of a two-part series: The Sun gave you the lowdown on the rest of the field in last week’s issue. 

Alexis Stuart, Republican 

Originally from Kentucky, Alexis Stuart has lived in Nipomo for the last 12 years. She owns Music Biz and runs an online store, Stuart believes government fees and regulations are over-burdensome for small business owners such as herself.

Alexis Stuart describes herself as a conservative Republican who feels like the Republican party has left her. She thinks the budget deficit could be tackled if many of the services provided by the federal government were pushed back to the states. 

On immigration/labor shortages: “I think we first need to protect our U.S. citizens who want to work,” she said. “We seem to be creating agricultural jobs for our guest-workers, not our citizens.” Stuart added that she’s not crazy about corporate ag, and issues with health and immigration could be solved if people grew their own food. 

On energy/oil: Stuart said she is for drilling and oil exploration and believes the United States shouldn’t ship its oil overseas. As far as hydraulic fracturing goes: “I can see the concerns. I’m not totally for it, but I’m not totally against it, either.” It’s an issue she thinks should be addressed at the state level. 

On the Affordable Care Act: “The Affordable Care Act is a disaster. It never should have happened; there are way simpler solutions,” Stuart said. “We need to revamp all of our health-care practices.” She explained that health-care reform should start with the patient/doctor relationship and believes a more holistic approach should be taken in Western medicine. 

On job creation/economy: “I’m for people starting their own small businesses if they can’t find a job,” Stuart said. More oil drilling and bringing back manufacturing jobs from China are two tactics she thinks could create more jobs in the United States. Reducing licensing fees and regulatory requirements would make owning a small business much easier, she added. 

Stuart gives a little more of her opinion at

Sandra Marshall, Democrat 

Since 1974, Sandra Marshall has fought for political issues she believes in as a volunteer and community organizer in San Luis Obispo. Marshall is currently the board chair of the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo. Campaign finance reform is something she wants to tackle head on should she get elected to Congress.

According to Sandra Marshall, the most important thing that needs to happen to politics is campaign finance reform. “Every issue we address has money at the bottom of it,” she said. “We need to start thinking about the common good and not just getting re-elected.” 

On immigration/labor shortages: A simple affordable path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and better working environments in areas such as agriculture are Marshall’s solutions to labor shortages. “It’s not fair for us to have the fruits of their labor, unless they’re getting paid well and have good working conditions,” she said. 

On energy/oil: “I want to get off the oil, and say no to fracking,” Marshall said. “We can live with a little less. … We are the biggest users of everything.” More energy-efficient car production, banning things such as plastic bags and water bottles, and everyone reducing his or her own energy consumption are things she said will help get the United States “off oil.” 

On the Affordable Care Act: “I believe it should be health care for all,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll upgrade so that everyone will be covered.” Marshall believes lobbyists and money are part of the reason the Affordable Care Act hasn’t had the impact it could have. 

On job creation/economy: Should she get elected, Marshall wants to use her influence to persuade technology and manufacturing companies to bring their business to the Central Coast in order to establish better-paying jobs. 

To learn more on how Marshall feels about campaign finance reform, visit

Chris Mitchum, Republican 

Chris Mitchum’s take on the U.S. government is that it needs to go back to its Constitutional roots, and he said he’d fight to make it happen, should he get elected. He’s a former actor from Santa Barbara who’s been actively involved in political issues for years.

Fixing the economy via the budget is Chris Mitchum’s answer to some of the country’s problems. He said there’s no silver-bullet solution, but a balanced budget amendment and lower taxes would get the United States partway there. “Our country’s in a terrible state right now,” he said. “I have the time and energy to get in the fight.” 

On immigration/labor shortages: Mitchum thinks the United States should close off the borders and protect the country’s shoreline using veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan; cut off federal funding for states that allocate welfare to undocumented immigrants; and implement a documented worker program like the United States once had. “Immigration used to function very well,” he said. 

On energy/oil: “We can keep the debate going on fracking if people are uncomfortable with it, but let’s develop what we have,” Mitchum said. “Every aspect of American wealth and society will be affected [positively] if we go after our natural resources.” 

On the Affordable Care Act: The Affordable Care Act is a complete disaster, according to Mitchum: “We probably don’t need to repeal it because it’ll probably implode on itself.” Two things that could reduce the cost of health care are the reform of malpractice lawsuits and enabling people to carry insurance across state lines, he said. 

On job creation/economy: In addition to developing natral gas and oil reserves, he believes reducing fees and restrictions on small businesses would create more jobs. “Just the cost of starting a business is daunting,” he explained. “We need to back off a little bit and let people get going.” 

For a more in-depth look at Mitchum’s views, visit

Dale Francisco, Republican 

Dale Francisco didn’t return the Sun’s phone calls before press time, so the information here comes directly off his campaign website. 

On immigration/labor shortages: He thinks the first step toward immigration reform is securing the borders and establishing an entry/exit visa system. “The United States accepts more immigrants every year than any other country in the world, but like every other country we have the right to decide who comes here and how long they can stay,” Francisco said on his website. 

On energy/oil: Francisco thinks the United States needs to develop its oil production as well as continue to develop wind, solar, and geothermal technology. “Renewable sources of energy production must be a large part of our overall energy strategy going forward,” he said on the site. 

On the Affordable Care Act: “Our worst fears about federal health-care reform are now coming true,” he said on his site. He thinks the Affordable Care Act should be repealed. 

On job creation/economy: “We need to foster a business climate that is consistent and small-business friendly because small businesses drive our economy,” Francisco said on the website. He thinks the way to do that is to have lower taxes and reduce regulations. 

Want a little more info? Visit

Brad Allen, Republican 

Brad Allen didn’t return the Sun’s phone calls before press time, so the information here comes directly off his campaign website. 

On the Affordable Care Act: “As a doctor, I know that Obamacare should be replaced with market-driven solutions that lower costs, improve access, and empower Americans,” he said on his website. 

On job creation/economy: Allen said on his site that a growing federal bureaucracy and over-regulation are punishing small businesses. He wants to reign in government overreach, adding that doing so will give small businesses more freedom to grow. 

Get a better look at Allen on his website,


Contact Staff Writer Camillia Lanham at

Weekly Poll
Who do you want to see represent California's 24th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives?

Re-elect Salud Carbajal!
Justin Fareed is my guy!
Michael Erin Woody has fresh ideas!
Eh, they all stink.

| Poll Results