6th State Assembly District Q&A – Kevin Kiley (R)By: Graham Womack, Staff Writer
Eight Republican challengers ran in the June primary running to represent the 6th district in the California State Assembly. When the dust settled, 31-year-old political newcomer Kevin Kiley, of Rocklin, had his party’s nomination for the Nov. 8 vote.
The Press Tribune sat down recently with the former attorney and teacher at his Roseville campaign headquarters.
What are some of your motivations for wanting to run?
We live in a great area. Unfortunately, our state has not been well-governed for a number of years now. That’s making life more and more difficult for more and more people.
One area that I think is very important is we’ve seen a big rise in crime the last few years. I’ve worked as a prosecutor, and that’s going to be one of my main priorities, to put a stop to the rise we’ve had in crime and protect the safety of our communities.
We also have a state that has the worst business climate by any measure of any state in the country. I want to work to ease the regulatory burdens on small businesses as well as lowering taxes and protecting Prop 13.
What other revenue streams do you see with Prop 13 remaining in effect?
Our state does not have a revenue problem. We’ve seen our budget keep growing and growing. The problem is the way the money gets spent and the inefficiencies and the waste that we have in government. Californians have a higher tax burden than just about any state in the country.
My priority is going to be to lower taxes, to make sure we don’t raise them anymore, to certainly protect Prop 13, and to try to stimulate more economic growth by empowering small businesses and encouraging job creation rather than sort of sending businesses out of the state, as we’ve been doing for way too long here.
As a 31-year-old newcomer to the state assembly, how could you expect to affect change?
I think that people are looking for new leadership in California, particularly in our area. I’ve talked to thousands upon thousands of voters, and people are really frustrated with what has gone on in Sacramento, with the tax situation, with the failure to plan for the drought by building effective water storage, with the lack of attention being paid to public safety … I am going to be the type of representative that looks to get results. I’m not interested in going and just talking over people or anything like that. I want to build relationships with people on both sides of the aisle so that we can work to address the problems we’ve been talking about.
Where do you come down on the state water fix?
I oppose the twin tunnels. This is not an effective use of taxpayer dollars, and it’s not the approach we need to be taking to building a long-term sustainable water supply for all regions in California.
Long-term, what are your hopes? Do you want to progress to other jobs at the state level or are you interested in working at the federal level?
My hopes are to address the very serious challenges facing California. We have a debt situation that is unsustainable and is going to place an enormous burden on future generations. We are taxing Californians way more than is efficient, and we have a business climate that is curbing job growth and taking opportunities away from young people, for example, who want to stay in California and build a future here but aren’t able to do so because of the cost of living.
I view the legislature as the ideal place to work to address those problems. Having the chance to represent my hometown where I was born and raised, in an area that I think embodies exactly the sort of values we need more of in the legislature, I think that’s an exciting opportunity. But I know I’ll have my work cut out for me.
What do you bring to the table that your opponent does not?
I bring a set of experiences that I think will be very helpful in addressing the fundamental challenges we face as a state. Having worked as a high school teacher in a underserved school, I’m very familiar with challenges facing our public education system. Having worked as a business attorney, representing small businesses, I know what life is like for folks trying to run a business in this state. Having worked as a prosecutor, I’ve seen the challenges we face when it comes to public safety.
I think that those experiences have provided a foundation to represent our area and to serve its values and its interests.