By Rondal Snodgrass (As published in The Union)
Our brand-new Congressional District 3 was formed after the 2020 Census and was created by a legally mandated apportionment process. There is no incumbent, no predetermined election by one party super majority. The design was to link communities that are close to, and love, and utilize the Sierra Nevada mountains. Within this 630 mile long Congressional District are Lake Tahoe, Mt. Whitney, Death Valley, the majestic eastern Sierra all long Highway 395, the Yuba River, and the American River. We can boast that here is the tallest mountain within the contiguous United States, the oldest trees in the world with the 5,000-year-old Bristle Cone Forest, one of the deepest and most blue lakes in the United States, and without a doubt the most outdoor recreation of any other District in California and perhaps the U.S. There is a huge amount of forested public land, in the several national forests within the 10 county CD 3. Those lands are key in protecting open space and wilderness, and providing forest products serving the nation.
The winner of the November 2022 election will be in a powerful position to protect these vast diverse and nationally significant lands. Currently, the registered voter breakdown is 38% Republican, 33% Democratic, 20% No Party Preference, and 9% other recognized parties. All polls and predictions now see a close vote and therefore every voter counts.
Polls (Tulchin Research May 2022) show that people in this District care for natural resources and their protection and expansion. From this professional, unbiased polling, Sierra voters support policies to combat climate change and protect the Sierra natural environment. People’s concerns are wildfires, drought, water scarcity and protecting state and national parks. 76% of likely voters in the new CD3 want to protect, restore, and expand California’s public lands. Those forests and rangelands help reduce carbon emissions, protect our air and water, and prevent wildlife extinction.
Our new Congressional District needs an elected representative that can develop unity among the diverse people who live and vote in our communities. Federal money is needed to treat forest lands for fire resistance and protect the forests and rangelands that pump oxygen into the atmosphere while absorbing CO2 for climate resilience. Dealing with these issues is not a matter of political partisanship. We have a candidate, Dr. Kermit Jones, who is not a politician. And, Dr. Kermit is committed to serving all of us, instead of just one party.
Examining the websites of the candidates of CD 3, I found a very different tone and commitment to presenting issues for voters to review. Dr Jones stressing unity has carefully developed position papers on concerns important to our diverse CD 3 population. However, his opponent Kevin Kiley is angry, attacks people, is divisive, protests and condemns government, and is without position papers on the issues of concern. It is clear that Kiley’s attitude would shortchange the help and assistance needing to come from federal programs. Dr Kermit Jones will be a congressional representative that has the inspiration and experience as a hiker and sportsman, and the ambition and drive to bring home the federal funds needed for protection, restoration, and sustainability of the natural resources of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Region.