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Candidates take turns on stage in bid to receive votes come November

Multiple choices. One room.

Posted: October 7, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 7, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Clockwise from top left: Howard "Buck" McKeon, Edward Headington, Ron Smith, Lee Rogers, Steve Knight and Star Moffatt Clockwise from top left: Howard "Buck" McKeon, Edward Headington, Ron Smith, Lee Rogers, Steve Knight and Star Moffatt
Clockwise from top left: Howard "Buck" McKeon, Edward Headington, Ron Smith, Lee Rogers, Steve Knight and Star Moffatt

A crowd of around 30 gathered at the American Legion Post 507 on Saturday in Newhall to “meet their ballot” ahead of local and national elections in November.

They also had the added bonus of attending the first public event attended by both candidates for Congressional District 25, incumbent Republican Howard “Buck” McKeon and Democratic challenger Lee Rogers, since their campaigns began. Rogers took that a step further, saying it was the first time the two had even been in the same room together.

McKeon was the first speaker at the event and used his time to emphasize his extensive political record. He also spoke on the continuing issue of the Cemex mine, which he has been lobbying against.

“I hope at some point we will be victorious on that issue,” McKeon said.

Rogers spoke about his background in medicine, but also took time to criticize McKeon, who had already left the event. Rogers characterized McKeon as an insider who has been working in politics for as long as Rogers has been alive.

“(McKeon) says you should vote for him because he has experience,” Rogers said. “But I say, ‘Experience in what?’”

The Los Angeles Universal Preschool, American Legion Post 507 and SCVTV partnered to put on the event. Other attendees included both candidates for state Senate District 21, Republican Steve Knight and Democrat Star Moffatt; Democratic 38th District assembly candidate Edward Headington; Republican 36th District assembly candidate Ron Smith; and congressional candidate David Hernandez, who is running in California’s 29th District with no party preference.

Moffatt repeated her call for an “emergency tax” on oil companies and banks in order to ease the state’s budget woes, but also criticized Knight’s opposition to a variety of state measures during his time as an assemblyman, including his votes against pregnancy leave and aid to teenage mothers.

Knight talked about his dedication to conservative values, particularly in regards to business and taxation, as well as his experience in the assembly.

“As a candidate, you can do one of two things,” Knight said. “You can either blame someone else for the problems you’re in for the next three to four years, or you can lead. I’ve led.”

JD Kennedy, the post commander at the American Legion, said a partnership with Los Angeles Universal Preschool was natural, as the missions of the two groups coincide in regards to community and youth outreach.

“We here at the American Legion are devoted to protecting American rights,” said JD Kennedy, the post commander of American Legion Post 507. “And the number one right we have is the right to vote.”

It is also natural for an educational advocacy group to get involved in local politics, said Celia Ayala, CEO of LAUP.

“We want to make sure voters can make informed decisions,” Ayala said. “We want to make sure we are promoting education through the electorate.”


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