ELECTION 2020: Candidates for the 36th Assembly District share their visions for East Kern


MOJAVE, Calif. (KGET) — The two candidates running for the 36th Assembly District shared their visions for East Kern Wednesday.

Incumbent Assemblymember Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), who has represented the district since 2014, is facing a challenge from former Assemblymember Steve Fox (D-Palmdale). Both candidates have held this seat and this is the fourth time in six years they have run against each other for the post.

The 36th assembly district includes Mojave, California City, Edwards Air Force Base, Rosamond, Boron, and much of the Antelope Valley.

“A vote for Tom Lackey is a vote for the entire 36th Assembly District,” said Lackey, a retired CHP sergeant. Raised in Boron, he noted rural areas often are forgotten in the legislature, something he wants to change.

“I understand Kern County and many of its challenges being a rural community,” he stated. “The state legislature is comprised of people more concerned with urban circumstances, and so we have unique challenges I’m willing to fight for, and have fought for in the last six years,” he continued, adding the region’s aerospace industry is among his highest priorities.

“We have Mojave, Edwards Air Force Base, Plant 42 in the Antelope Valley; we have brought together participants and the aerospace research institute, and we want to build that cohesive and unique nature and the synergy that exists between the military [and] private industry…We work diligently with those partners to build and maintain aerospace success.”

Fox served the 36th district in the Assembly from 2012 to 2014 until he was unseated by Lackey. Since, Fox, a Democrat, has run against Lackey in every election, but Lackey, a Republican, came away victorious in the district which is home to more registered Democrats than Republicans.

During his tenure in the legislature, Fox faced a lawsuit stemming from allegations of indecent exposure — allegations he fervently denies. Despite his objections, the Assembly settled the suit, per Fox. Now, the former Mojave unified educator-turned attorney wants move forward for the people who live in the district.

“I’m asking voters to vote on the issues,” he said. “I want to bring tax deductions for small businesses and generate jobs, work, and money. We’re here to make a profit. We’re here to make everybody do that.”

He, too, says aerospace is a top priority, and was an issue on which he says he worked hard when he served in the Assembly. Looking ahead, he wants to help the area’s economy rebound post-coronavirus.

“Vote for who represents your interests, who will get things done for you…You’re my concern. I’m going to get you jobs,” he said, addressing voters. “I’m going to stimulate this economy. Give me a shot to go back up there and I’m ready to get more done. I don’t represent a party. I represent you.”

Wednesday marked 41 days until general Election Day, Nov. 3.

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