Rep. Mark Takano, D-Riverside, grasped an early lead Tuesday evening in his quest for a fifth term representing the Riverside metropolitan area in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Early election results for the 41st Congressional District show Takano with 65.5% of the vote compared to his GOP challenger, Aja Smith, who notched 34.5%, a difference of 29,516 votes.
Smith is a U.S. Air Force Reserve sergeant who grew up in Moreno Valley. She would be the first Black woman to serve the district if elected.
Takano, who was elected to the post in 2013, is running on a record of strengthening social welfare programs, including Medicare and Social Security, as well as promoting the rights of working class people.
The incumbent has been involved with programs aimed at ensuring veterans receive services to which they’re entitled, and as a former educator, he has supported increasing funding and resources for schools, according to campaign literature.
He has also been an outspoken critic of the Trump administration and took an arguably hard line against the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in early May, when the board first voted to reduce local austerity measures stemming from the coronavirus emergency.
Takano openly opposed the move, citing public health concerns, despite a groundswell of support for it among community members.
“I have expanded access to healthcare for veterans, defended immigrants (and) worked to create high-paying jobs in the Inland Empire,” the congressman said in a campaign statement. “Since taking office, I have passed laws that have supported students, extended health benefits for Vietnam veterans and protected veteran-owned businesses.”
Smith, meanwhile, has made preserving March Air Reserve Base, which has been threatened with closure under federal base realignment measures in the past, as well as lowering taxes on businesses, fortifying national defense and improving public safety her top campaign priorities.
She pointed to her deployments overseas as broadening her understanding of international affairs and the need for the U.S. to remain strong militarily.
In campaign literature, Smith sharply criticized Takano for supporting President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, resulting in the Middle Eastern nation, which the U.S. State Department has long designated a terrorist sponsoring state, receiving sanctions relief and access to upwards of $100 billion in previously frozen assets.
In exchange, Iran was supposed to table its nuclear ambitions.
Smith said she is not out to score “cheap political points” by making lofty promises she cannot fulfill, and said like other constituents, she is “sick of Washington, D.C., politicians who aren’t Black lecture Riverside County African-Americans about race.”
According to the Air Force Reserve technical sergeant, she could genuinely speak to race issues and do a better job than her opponent addressing them.
The 41st Congressional District encompasses all of Riverside, Jurupa Valley, Moreno Valley, Perris and unincorporated communities that are immediately adjacent to the cities.
Four-Term Congressman Takes Early Lead Over GOP Challenger was last modified: November 3rd, 2020 by
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