In the race for the Congressional seat that represents the Monterey Bay Area incumbent Democrat Sam Farr again faces Republican Jeff Taylor. The match-up is the same as in years past, and the candidates remain starkly different.
For a fourth time agribusiness man Jeff Taylor is running for the Congressional seat that represents the Monterey Bay Area. He was a write-in candidate in 2006, and has been the official Republican Party candidate in every election since. Each time his percentage of the vote has increased, but he has never come close to catching his Democratic opponent, incumbent Congressman Sam Farr. This time around Taylor says he won’t go into debt spending money trying to win. “My emphasis this time is getting out the vote,” said Taylor. District 20, which includes Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties as well as part of Santa Clara County, is dominated by democrats. Taylor strategy has been to increase the number of registered voters. He’s focused his effort on the faith community, where he expects others care about issues like abortion. “I would work at passing legislation that would minimize the timeframe that abortion could take place. Minimize it, not remove it all together, but minimize it. I don’t think we’re there yet. We’re not ready to remove it,” said Taylor.
One thing he knows most are ready for is an end to the divisive politics in Washington DC. He thinks the answer is to cut-off some of the funding sources that help candidates get elected. “I’d like nobody, but an individual, no unions, no corporations, only individual people can fund any campaign,” said Taylor. That’s why he’s a fan of state Proposition 32. It would ban payroll deductions for political activities. “That should be a federal regulation as well. That should be proposed by the Congress and the Senate and taken to the President,” said Taylor. On the same day Jeff Taylor is talking about the hope of Prop 32 becoming a model for the nation, his opponent Congressman Sam Farr is warning of the same possibility. At a conference of union workers, he tells a packed hall that Prop 32 is an attempt to disrupt their ability to organize, and be politically involved. “The intent of Prop 32 is about breaking that up, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said Farr.
Farr blames the divisiveness in Washington on what he calls a group of extremists who have taken over the Republican Party. “That extremist group is running out the moderates who have usually been the ones who have enough sense to sit down with democrats, who have enough sense to sit down and find compromise,” said Farr. Of his opponent, Farr thinks Taylor is fighting some old battles. “I think it’s obvious government cannot enact laws that you can enforce that would prohibit women from having an abortion if they want to, but the problem is if you don’t allow them to legally have it, they’ll do it illegally and that’s underground and that’s dangerous,” said Farr.
Farr has represented the region for almost 20 years. In the June open primary, he won nearly 65% of the vote. “After the primary I think it would be very difficult unless he raised a very aggressive campaign, and that the electorate in this district was totally dissatisfied my style of representing them, and I don’t think they are. We’d have to have a sea change, and I don’t think his candidacy is triggered that,” said Farr. For his part, Jeff Taylor says he had a successful final weekend push to get new voters registered. Voter turnout is expected to be high in this presidential election year.