We don’t think the presidency is a job for a political neophyte.
Neither is a seat in the House of Representatives.
It’s true that Washington has produced too much petulance and too little progress in recent years. Americans have good reason to be disgusted with the partisan sniping, relentless fundraising and political posturing passed off as principle.
But the nation’s challenges don’t lend themselves to slogans and insults, and voters in the June 7 primary aren’t passing judgment on a sideshow. They must assess the performance of their representatives and determine whether they should remain in office.
Sonoma County is lucky to have two experienced, hardworking and effective leaders in the House of Representatives — Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson.
Each deserves another term.
Thompson, a St. Helena Democrat whose 5th Congressional District includes Napa County and parts of Contra Costa, Lake, Solano and Sonoma counties, is a key player on tax policy, gun safety and natural resources. He also is a strong advocate for the wine industry, a cornerstone of the region’s economy, and has carefully tended to constituents during his 18 years in Congress.
As chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Thompson is pressing for universal background checks, a policy that would protect the rights of law-abiding citizens while making it more difficult for criminals to obtain firearms. This multi-year effort to counter the influence of the gun lobby is gaining steam, with a handful of House Republicans joining Thompson and other Democrats as co-sponsors.
On the House Ways and Means Committee, Thompson is positioned to protect Social Security. He is supporting legislation that would provide a small boost in benefits while ensuring the system’s solvency for 75 years by raising the ceiling on payroll taxes and using a more accurate method to calculate cost-of-living increases.
Thompson faces three challengers in the June 7 primary — Republican Carlos Santamaria of Napa and Democrats Nils Palsson of Middletown and Alex Poling of Emeryville. None of them can match Thompson’s track record or experience in public service.
Huffman, D-San Rafael, has represented the 2nd District since 2013. His expertise on water and fisheries, shaped as chairman of the state Assembly’s water committee and as a senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, is a natural fit for the district, which stretches from the Golden Gate to the Oregon border.
Huffman was instrumental in the expansion of the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries. He helped secure disaster relief for North Coast fishing communities that suffered huge losses because of the drought-related impacts on salmon and ocean warming that substantially delayed the 2015-16 crab season.
With his science-based proposals, Huffman helped check efforts by Central Valley congressmen to divert more water from Northern California at the expense of Delta water quality and endangered fisheries.
Huffman is far more qualified than any of the other candidates on the June 7 ballot — Republican Dale K. Mensing of Redway, Democrat Erin A. Shrode of Ross and independent Matthew Robert Wookey of Petaluma.
On June 7, The Press Democrat recommends Jared Huffman in the 2nd Congressional District and Mike Thompson in the 5th Congressional District.