House of Representatives: tied

The views expressed in this section represent a majority vote of the editorial board. The editorial board consists of Vincent Gragnani, Editor in Chief; Bill Burger and Alison Norris, Managing Editors; Jeffey White, Copy Editor; Tom Vu, Opinion Editor; Lauren I. Coartney, News Editor and Robert Fulton, Sports Editor. The endorsements are not necessarily those of the UC Board of Regents, the ASUCSD, nor the entire Guardian staff.

California State Assemblywoman Susan Davis is the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray in the race for the 49th Congressional District, which surrounds the UCSD campus.

The contest between these candidates is being closely watched by both parties, as Bilbray’s last Democratic challenger, Christine Kehoe, lost by a narrow margin in 1998, earning 46.6 percent to Bilbray’s 48.8 percent.

The 49th’s swing-district status is further confirmed by the fact that it encompasses voters with a wide array of political ideologies — its borders encompass everywhere from traditionally conservative areas such as La Jolla and Coronado to traditionally liberal cities like Pacific Beach and Imperial Beach.

This year, our diverse district deserves the change it so clearly indicated it was ready for in the Kehoe-Bilbray election of 1998. Davis’ refreshing, informed and well-balanced opinions on the main issues prove that she would serve as an outstanding representative of this multifarious district.

It is Davis’ legislative record in the state Assembly that proves her unwavering dedication to improvements in education. She has authored legislation to decrease eighth grade class sizes to 20 students and to raise minimum standards for retaining teachers. Furthermore, she was named 1999 Legislator of the Year by the League of Middle Schools and has twice been honored as Legislator of the Year by the California School Boards Association.

On health care, Davis again has an intensely attractive record. For example, she authored a bill — which then-Gov. Pete Wilson signed into law — that allows women to access obstetric/gynecological care without first having to attain approval from gatekeepers. Her bill was the only piece of health care legislation that Wilson signed into law while in office. In addition, Davis’ bills have supported patients’ rights to privacy and the right to obtaining a second opinion. Equally important in this election is Davis’ consistent support for abortion rights.

Davis’ stance on crime also shines. For example, she supports programs such as the Community Oriented Policing program, which is designed to help put more police officers on the nation’s streets. She also participated in securing funding for after-school programs that target juvenile violence. Additionally, Davis supports hate crimes legislation.

Regarding environmental concerns, which some tout as an issue on which Bilbray cannot go wrong, Davis is a serious candidate, unbiased by special interests. She received a 100 percent approval rating from the League of Conservation Voters and was named a “”Friend of the Environment”” by the Sierra Club.

By and far, Davis has proven her ability to lead the changing, growing populations of the 49th Congressional District while serving in the state assembly. For her outstanding and impressive record on education, health care, and other key issues, the Guardian endorses Davis and encourages voters to pay close attention to her exciting campaign in the closing days of the race for the 49th.