Thursday, the League of Women Voters, along with the NAACP and Delta College, held a candidate’s forum with my opponent, Tony Amador, and me. The forum was broadcast live on WDCU radio.  If you weren’t able to tune-in or attend the forum, it will be available on YouTube soon.

The forum was well run and the questions were chosen and asked by the two panelists: one from the LWV; and the other from the NAACP. Questions ranged from economic issues, to social issues, climate change, immigration, and campaign finance reform. We both respected our allowed time and did not run over the allocated one and half minutes for our answers.

I strongly believe that Mr. Amador came up short on climate change, clearly establishing himself as a climate change denier. When answering a question about campaign finance reform, he showed a gross lack of understanding of the issue. In another case, he trotted out the Republican line that federal regulations are bringing about the downfall of America.

One theme I brought up repeatedly during the forum is that we need to find ways to work across the partisan divide if we want to get things done. In Congress, I’ve worked across the aisle to cut through the red tape and deliver for our community. It’s why in my closing remarks, I shared that the Stockton Record endorsed me, saying: “McNerney has been responsive to the needs of Valley farmers, has worked to solve the frustrating process for a proposed Veterans Affairs health facility in French Camp and has done something rare for Congressional representatives — immersed himself helping on local public safety issues.”

After the forum, there was a candidate meet-and-greet next door, which was a great opportunity to talk to my supporters and other folks who attended the forum.  One woman, who identified herself as a farmer, asked in which ways I have been responsive to Valley farmers. I listed things I have done for the farmers such as voting against my party in support of the most recent farm bill, introducing legislation to insure farmers against losses due to invasive pest quarantines, fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, and fighting against additional water exports.

I was then asked why we can’t pump more water since the big rain events earlier in the year. As the strongest voice in Congress protecting the Delta, I explained that over-pumping increases saltwater intrusion, harming the Delta and our water supply.

I enjoyed having a chance to talk with folks and appreciate everyone who came out to show their support and participate in the democratic process.

– Jerry