SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego is just one week away from the June primary.
Two Republicans are running against democratic incumbent assembly member Brian Maienschein in the newly redrawn 76th district.
Kristie Bruce-Lane is a director on the board of the Olivenhain Municipal Water District and the president and founder of The Thumbprint Project, a non-profit that helps homeless children who have been hurt by domestic violence.
"I'm the only elected official in this race that has the community experience, the political experience as well that has served my community prior to putting my name on the ballot," said Bruce-Lane.
Bruce-Lane says her top three priorities are cutting taxes, homelessness, and tackling the increase in crime.
"The gas tax is certainly affecting all of our pocketbooks it doesn't matter what side of the aisle you are on, it's affecting our people greatly" said Bruce-Lane.
Both candidates say they're against increasing taxes.
According to Bruce-Lane, in March of 2021, there were 171 homeless encampments in the district, a year later, there are at least 466.
"We can no longer just throw money at the situation. We really need to have a client-centered focused approach and wrap around our services to each client," said Bruce-Lane.
June Cutter is running against Maienschein for the second time. The employment attorney and business owner got 44% of the vote when she ran in 2020.
"I’m running to serve the people, not to become an elected official, and it would be my honor to be able to serve the interests of my community," said Cutter.
Cutter also favors a holistic approach to dealing with homelessness. She wants a state audit to see where and how money is being spent on the issue.
Both women support the Second Amendment and have school-age children. They believe everything should be considered when it comes to securing schools.
"We need to have police officers and resource officers in our schools as well, mental health, we have got to address mental health," said Bruce-Lane.
"There should be nothing that's off the table for us to discuss, whether that's security in our schools or other ways of increasing training," said Cutter.
Cutter says her priorities are reducing taxes, public safety, and education.
Registered Democrats still outnumber Republicans in the newly redrawn district, but not by as much.
"Definitely a purple swing seat," said Cutter.
Maienschein has served ten years in the assembly. He switched from the Republican Party in 2019. He was called into an emergency caucus in Sacramento at the time of our interview Tuesday but sent 10News the following statement.
"I am proud that the residents of San Diego have put their trust in me to represent them and I am confident they will continue to do so. Three of my top priorities are defending reproductive rights, combating homelessness, and strengthening public safety.
A woman's right to determine her own healthcare choices is under attack. With the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe V. Wade, now more than ever we need elected leaders who will protect and defend a woman's right to choose. I am proud to have a 100% voting record with Planned Parenthood and I will continue to fight against erosion of a woman's basic human rights.
When I was San Diego's first commissioner on homelessness I created Project 25 to house our region’s chronically homeless individuals which was one of the most successful programs in San Diego’s history. I support continued state funding to localities to invest in similar efforts to reduce homelessness.
I am proud to have the endorsement of numerous law enforcement organizations including the San Diego Police Officers Association and the Deputy Sheriffs Association of San Diego County for my record of defending the safety of our communities. I am also proud to have been named a Gun Sense Candidate by Moms Demand Action. We need to do more to reduce crime, protect our neighborhoods and get guns out of the hands of dangerous people.
I have consistently and successfully pushed for more affordable housing. I believe that home ownership should be attainable for all, which is why I am committed to adding housing to our region. Similarly, I will continue to oppose increased taxes. I voted against raising the gas tax and stand by that.
The top two vote-getters will advance to the general election in November.