CA Senate candidates meet to debate for 2nd time ahead of March primary

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Tuesday, February 13, 2024
CA Senate candidates meet to debate for 2nd time
California Senate candidates Adam Schiff, Barbara Lee, Steve Garvey and Katie Porter met to debate for the second time ahead of the March primary.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Three Democrats and one Republican candidate took to the stage in San Francisco Monday night for another California Senate race debate.

On the list of topics discussed was a mix of both statewide problems, as well as national issues.

Speaking to ABC7 News after the debate, frontrunner and Congressman Adam Schiff saying that housing affordability is his top priority.

"We need to build hundreds of thousands of units. We need to vastly expand the low-income housing tax credit so we can do it cost effectively and incentivize the development of housing," said Schiff.

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The Bay Area also getting mentioned Monday evening.

Specifically, Oakland and the issues the city has faced when it comes to crime and public safety.

Hometown candidate and Congresswoman, Barbara Lee responding.

"We have to look at the underlying causes of a lot of the criminal activity that's taking place, especially with guns. We've got to pass a national assault weapons ban. We've got to get these weapons of war off of the street," said Lee.

The sole Republican on the stage, Steve Garvey, saying he wants to address the homelessness crisis.

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Garvey stating he thinks the state has wasted money on it for years.

"Thirty-billion dollars have been thrown at the homeless. It's been wasted. When I go back to Washington as your next duly elected senator, the first thing I will do is make sure there's an audit to find out where that money went," Garvey said.

Orange County Representative Katie Porter touted her progressive record during her time in Congress.

Porter urging voters to choose her based off the issues.

"I'm the candidate they can count on to shake up the Senate, to push to change things in Washington until California gets what it needs," Porter said.

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Californians will head to the polls for the primary on March 5.

An opportunity to fill a wide-open senate seat - something that hasn't happened in California in decades, says political science professor, Melissa Michelson.

"Given incumbency effects, most people who are in Congress, who are in the Senate get reelected. And it's been a really long time since we've had an open seat," Michelson said.

While the general election might not be until November, Michelson says given California's system, sometimes the primary is actually the more important race.

"Whichever Democrat it is that makes it to that top two runoff in November, that Democrat is going to win the statewide election unless something completely unusual happens," he said.

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