[Editor’s note: As part of Noozhawk’s pre-election coverage, we e-mailed candidate questionnaires to Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, and his Republican challenger, Greg Gandrud. As Nava has not responded, we’re publishing the below rather than a single Q&A.]

Because I am so very concerned about California’s economy, I’m running for the 35th Assembly District seat against incumbent Pedro Nava.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is begging the feds for over SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS just to keep California afloat over the next few months. Pedro Nava, whose voting record is completely out of step with financial reality, just voted to increase taxes on ordinary citizens and at the same time voted to give financial aid to illegal aliens. While Californians face huge bills for gasoline and electricity and winter heating, Pedro Nava refuses to allow any new energy exploration.

We already pay the highest taxes in the country, we have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. While in the Assembly for the last four years, Pedro Nava has voted again and again to increase the size of California’s bloated bureaucracy. No matter how much of our hard-earned money goes to Sacramento, more and more of our precious tax dollars go to overpaid bureaucrats and wasteful studies. In fact, Pedro Nava voted to force our highway construction money to be spent studying global warming rather than adding lanes to our crowded freeways.

Because I have owned my own accounting practice for 16 years and because I am an honors graduate of USC’s Business School, I have the skills we need to create better jobs, cut wasteful spending, and balance our budget. As a member of Carpinteria’s City Council, I always stood up for what was right and even traveled to Washington and Sacramento at my own expense to get money to fix our freeways. I was successful in obtaining funding for construction (construction that is happening now) and I will be successful in Sacramento fighting for all of us.

I will also work to make sure our local school districts receive more money by cutting wasteful bureaucracy from the state and county education offices. And, I’ll fight to give parents more choices as to where they can send their children to school.

Pedro Nava thinks he owns his seat in the Assembly. In fact, he plans to give the 35th Assembly District to his wife, Susan Jordan, as if it were his to give away. Just in the last nine months, he has taken over $248,393 in campaign contributions from special interests outside our district who have their hand in our state cookie jar and want to keep everything the way it is, no matter how much it bankrupts the taxpayers. Pedro Nava refuses to appear at any community forums to discuss these important issues. Why is he hiding from us?

Pedro Nava has accomplished little in the four years he has held office. He is completely against any energy exploration and has turned a blind eye to the plight of Californians who have been paying sky-high prices for gasoline. Although Pedro Nava is chairman of the Assembly Banking Committee, his approach to the mortgage crisis has only made matters worse as he accepts tens of thousands in campaign donations from banks.

Voters have a choice in this election. They have a choice between more financial chaos, more corruption and more wasteful spending or principled leadership, reform and recovery. Please vote for me by mail using your absentee ballot or in person on Election Day Nov. 4. Thank you!

Gregory Gandrud
35th Assembly District Candidate