Senate seat on the line and it’s important to us
Somewhere along the line there was a breakdown in communication between the Plumas County chapter of the League of Women Voters and Assemblyman Brian Dahle’s campaign. The League sent out a press release announcing a forum between Dahle and his opponent Assemblyman Kevin Kiley for the First District state senate seat. The event was scheduled for the evening of May 8. On the morning of May 8, the League confirmed that Dahle would not be able to attend.
While that came as a surprise to the League, the Dahle campaign was confused, because according to Dahle, that date was never an option. On that night he would be attending a Future Farmers of America dinner being held in Bieber in part to recognize the fact that his son was elected to statewide office. His son would be taking a year off between high school and his planned studies at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to promote FFA. Dahle made the right choice to be there to support his son and family.
We in Plumas County know Brian Dahle. He has been our assemblyman since 2012. Before that he served neighboring Lassen County as a county supervisor for 16 years. He is no stranger to Plumas County. He was a member of the Quincy Library Group and worked closely with Plumas on a number of issues. He is a farmer and describes himself as one of only four in the assembly who issue a payroll. He is 53 and lives with his wife and three children in Bieber.
We don’t know Kevin Kiley, so the League forum was a great opportunity to hear from him. Kiley has served in the assembly since 2016. He is 34 and lives in Rocklin. After college he became a high school teacher before earning his law degree and going to work in the state attorney general’s office.
Both are Republicans and were the top two vote earners in the open primary to succeed Ted Gaines, who was elected to the State Board of Equalization.
This week’s newspaper contains an article about Kiley’s forum appearance and an article about Dahle’s visit to the Plumas Association of Realtors last week. They both provide insight as to why each man thinks he should be our next state senator. It’s an interesting question since both already have the opportunity to affect our futures in the state assembly.
After hearing from both, it would appear that Dahle might just have the best argument. During his time in the assembly, he has worked to advance legislation that would benefit rural areas — but he quickly realized that his urban counterparts didn’t really grasp what he was talking about. So he invited them up to see — 110 of them throughout his tenure in the assembly. They stay at his home where cell service is spotty at best and learn why rural areas need access to broadband. They tour his farm and learn how regulations affect the small businessman. They tour the forests and see why they are primed to burn. They tour a biomass plant and see the answer to several problems.
Then when he advances legislation to fix those issues, he gets their vote. They understand; they know what he is talking about. But then the legislation goes to the senate where they don’t understand the rural issues. He wants the chance to educate that side of the legislature. We hope he gets it.