Former Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin says he is running for State Assembly in the new District 27 to bring common sense to Sacramento. He served as the Chief of Law Enforcement for the California Office of Emergency Services from 2014 to earlier this year when retired “to devote full time to this very important Assembly race,” Pazin shared. He served as Sheriff for 32 years from 1981 to 2013.
The district includes Los Banos and other portions of Merced County, as well as portions of Fresno and Madera counties.
Asked about his main issues, the registered Republican said, “Basically, which is very important to the West Side, not just this county but the two adjacent counties in the district is water, water storage, water storage, water storage and ensuring we get out of this one-party rule in which nothing has been done.”
“All it takes is one environmentalist to say, ‘you shouldn’t do this’ and all bets are off,” Pazin continued. “The infrastructure of California was built for 25 million population. We haven’t built any water storage in years. The population is now almost 45 million.”
Gas Tax & Fuel Prices
“The other thing is the price of gas and diesel, and the price of gas has skyrocketed, and nothing has been done in Sacramento,” he stated and spoke of suspending the state’s gas tax. “I was advocating about this months ago. At a recent candidate’s forum I asked, ‘why not suspend the gas tax?’ If we had suspended when the initial spike in gas went up how many millions of dollars would that have saved people?”
Speaking of his opponent in the race, Fresno City Councilwoman Esmerelda Soria who is termed out of her District 1 seat, Pazin said, “She’s still a proponent of higher taxes. I am not. She’s still tax and spend.”
“We have this surplus in the state budget,” he continued. “Oh, no we can’t have that. She wants to keep the gas tax.”
Asked about the oil and gas production side of the issue, Pazin said, “California is leaning toward this zero-emission carbon footprint and not sell any gas-powered cars after 2035 which is crazy. It goes back to this one-party rule and that’s why this district is so important. We need to get good legislation passed.”
About Soria, he shared, “she signed the Green New Deal pledge and to not take any corporate money from oil companies, but she did. Then she did her pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. to meet with AOC (Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) to learn her extremist ways and left-leaning views.” (See related articles here and here and Esmeralda Soria, 350 Action 2019 Candidate Questionnaire, Jan. 7, 2020).
Asked if public safety was one of his main priorities Pazin responded, “Absolutely, public safety. That’s why it’s ironic that my opponent is embracing law enforcement. She’s bragging about getting $2 billion for law enforcement. But that’s absolute nonsense. It’s just that during her term she voted for budgets maybe with an aggregate of that amount.”
“She’s disingenuous with the facts. She didn’t bring in one penny,” he stated.
Pazin is endorsed by the sheriffs of Merced, Fresno and Madera counties, the CA State Sheriffs Association, the Peace Officers Research Association of California and the Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Soria has the endorsements of the California College and University Police Chiefs Association, California Coalition of Law Enforcement Associations and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.
Asked why she received those endorsements and not Pazin, his campaign manager, Jordan Dennison replied, “Unfortunately, it’s a Sacramento politics thing.”
“We’ve got to make sure we don’t have more legislation that hamstrings local law enforcement,” Pazin continued. “It’s crazy, that zero-dollar bail. We need to make sure the people arrested for felonies are held responsible for their crimes. It’s dangerous.”
Pazin then shared about the bill he helped get passed in Sacramento regarding the case of Cary Verse, a sexually violent criminal from another county who was going to be placed in a home in Merced County.
“We labeled it the Verse Curse,” the candidate said. The legislation requires the “return all civil commitments of a violent predator back to their county of domicile. The courts ruled the person doesn’t have the capacity to put forth a reasonable defense,” he explained. “But the psychologist was able to convince a judge to place him in a home. We said that wasn’t going to happen, here.”
“Gov. Schwarzenegger signed that bill into law to ensure that it doesn’t happen, again,” Pazin stated. “And this was beneficial statewide.”
Asked about the bypass road around Los Banos and the California high-speed rail and it’s planned route through Merced County Pazin said, “I’m open to reviewing public transportation that’s going to move people, safely from point A to point B.”
“When I was sheriff, Highway 152, Pacheco Blvd. was bumper to bumper. Now, it’s just gridlock,” he stated. “Efficiency and safe passage are going to be the key to this.”
Asked about state funding for the reroute of Highway 152 Pazin responded, “It’s a state route. It falls under the Secretary of Transportation. It should be probably funded at the state level. They’re bragging about all this extra money from the surplus.”
Regarding increasing capacity for water storage at San Luis Reservoir he said, “I’m in favor of increasing capacity at all state and federal sites. These reservoirs are basically funnels, and they capture water during rainy season. That’s why I’m running to bring common sense to the table and to challenge these groups that fight against raising capacity, the environmentalists.”
When asked about the economy and jobs Pazin responded, “for heaven’s sakes, diesel is up over $7 and gas is over $6 in some locations. How can people afford to go over Pacheco Pass to work?”
“I’m backed by the National Federation of Independent Business, because they understand without employers you won’t have employees, when you’re constantly getting hit with a tax, regulation, an impact fee,” he added.
Works Across Party Lines
Asked if part of his effort is to also block bad legislation he responded, “that’s why this district is so important, to bring people together on a bipartisan basis. In my 10 years as sheriff, we worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation.”
“I’m running for State Assembly for the right reason, not because I need another job,” Pazin stated. “I want to bring some common-sense legislation to Sacramento. I’m going to present to the governor a suspense of the gas tax. I’m doing this for the right reason. I’ve had two great careers. I’ve worked with both Democratic and Republican governors.”
“I want to use my experience and bring the right mindset to Sacramento and I’m the right person,” Pazin concluded.
To learn more about Mark Pazin and his campaign for State Assembly visit www.markpazin.com. The election is Tuesday, November 8th.