Assemblyman Curt Hagman first called for a debate with opponent Gloria Negrete McLeod during the June primary. Today, the 150th day since he first issued his challenge, he again called for the two to square off in a public debate. So far the congresswoman refuses to debate with him.
Hagman and Negrete McLeod are running for the Fourth District seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. He says he wants to debate to give constituents a chance to see the candidates side-by-side so that they can make an informed decision.
In a press release issued today, Hagman said, “Voters of Chino, Chino Hills, Montclair, Ontario and Upland deserve to hear from both Congresswoman Gloria Negrete McLeod and me about our plans for San Bernardino County.” According to Hagman, “McLeod has all but ignored calls to debate prior to the June 3 primary election, but her current schedule should leave ample time to debate prior to the general election.”
Katherine Kolcheva, Hagman’s campaign manager, pointed out, “Members of congress return to their districts after October 6. This should provide more than enough time to plan a debate prior to October 15, so that those voting early can hear what Hagman and McLeod bring to the table.”
Hagman focuses much of his campaign time on the issues that set the two apart. He was a staunch opponent of AB 109, the prison realignment bill that resulted in tens of thousands of felons being released back onto the streets. “Unlike Gloria Negrete McLeod, I opposed AB 109 because it resulted in the release of dangerous prisoners into our communities,” said Hagman in a written statement to yeahstub.com.
“AB 109 would also require county jails to handle violent prisoners who belong in state prisons, Hagman continued. “As Supervisor of the 4th District, I will continue to be committed to fixing the problems associated with realignment. In the Assembly I authored a bill to monitor the impact of realignment on county public safety, because I believe the county needs to increase support and resources for our probation department so it is better positioned to protect the public.”
Another issue that sets Hagman apart from Negrete McLeod is union support. Currently, a majority of San Bernardino County employees are represented by the San Bernardino Public Employees Association (SBPEA) in collective bargaining matters. The Service Employees International Union is targeting Hagman and SBPEA in an attempt to replace the local union with SEIU.
SEIU has poured close to $900,000 into Negrete-McLeod’s campaign. The congresswoman is a strong union supporter, especially SEIU, and with the votes of the other two Democrats on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, Supervisors James Ramos and Josie Gonzales, she will have little trouble changing the county’s labor relations ordinance to make it easy for SEIU to take over representation of county employees.
It does not appear that Negrete McLeod is any hurry to defend her voting record on AB 109 or her union affiliation. Hagman’s challenge remains unanswered. The election takes place November 4.