Jay Chen, a Democratic candidate for the 39th Congressional District, visited Mt. San Antonio College Tuesday to talk to students about his campaign and participate in a forum.
Mt. SAC hosted a meet the candidates event for students with Chen and Kenny Coble, a Republican candidate for state Assembly running against incumbent Norma Torres (D-Pomona). Neither Torres nor U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), who is running against Chen, were able to attend the forum.
The event also had low attendance, with just around 20 students showing up to hear what the candidates had to say.
Both Chen and Coble touted their experience in local government and business as what qualifies them to run. They also each listed education and the economy as two of their chief priorities if elected to office. Chen said he also would like to work on transportation issues to help bring some of those dollars back to California.
Coble, a Pomona Planning Commissioner and businessman, said that efforts need to be made to reduce the student loan debt burden. He said he does not support Proposition 30 or 38, two state measures that would increase the personal income tax on high-income earners and the sales tax across the board to general revenue for school districts and community colleges. He does not support increased taxes and said he has concerns that the money, particularly from Proposition 30, won't go to the schools as promised.
"I'm not for any cuts to education, but I am not for Prop. 30," Coble said. "I think it's a way to fund other projects and they are using education as a threat to do that."
"We're not talking about simply a tax that is just going to hit the rich," he said. "We're talking about a tax that is going to hit everybody."
Chen, a Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District board member, said he supports both measures because education has been cut dramatically and needs the funding.
"It costs $50,000 to incarcerate someone. It costs $15,000 to educate someone," he said. "Our priorities are out of whack and something needs to change."