Steinorth In Bid To Replace Morrell In 40th State Assembly District

(January 2) Rancho Cucamonga Councilman Marc Steinorth has declared himself a candidate in the anticipated contest to succeed Mike Morrell as assemblyman in the  40th District.
Morrell has not departed from the position he first captured in the lower chamber of the state legislature in 2010. The 40th Assembly District stretches in an arc from Rancho Cucamonga on its western end through unincorporated portions of San Bernardino County along the foothills to a portion of the city of San Bernardino, the city of Highland, and into Redlands and Loma Linda.
Morrell has declared his intention to vie to replace State Senator Bill Emmerson in a special election to be held later this year. Emmerson resigned from his post as state senator in the 23rd Senatorial District effective December 1.
Four others are competing with Morrell –  Yucaipa Valley Water District Board Member Lonni Granlund, a Republican; Calimesa Councilman Jeff Hewett, a Libertarian; San Jacinto City Councilwoman Crystal Ruiz, a Republican; and Ameenah Fuller, a Rancho Cucamonga Democrat who unsuccessfully sought election in the 25th State Senate District in 2012.
Given his incumbency in the Assembly and his superior fundraising capability, Morrell is considered the odds-on favorite to prevail in the race in the 23rd, in which 41 percent of the voters are registered as Republicans and 34 percent are affiliated with the Democratic Party.
Steinorth, who was elected to the Rancho Cucamonga City Council 2012, is an active Republican. In the 40th Assembly District, 38.3 percent of the voters are registered Democrats and 36.7 percent are registered with the GOP.
With the slight Democratic registration advantage and Morrell’s narrow 1,018 vote victory over Democrat Russ Warner in November 2012, the 40th  is considered one of the most targeted legislative districts in the state.
Steinorth believes he can energize the 40th District’s voters in the same way he did with voters in Rancho Cucamonga two years ago.
“I bring to the table 20 years of private sector business experience,” said Steinorth, who runs an advertising and marketing firm in Rancho Cucamonga, Atlas Buying Group. “In addition to understanding the daily challenge of running a small business, I also have public sector experience on the city council. I have seen the impact of the state government’s action on the business community. I am equally aware of what many in the private sector and in the general public do not realize, which is the degree to which local governments are challenged by having to deal with mandates by the state, every bit as much as small businesses must deal with mandates by the state. I am convinced that the state government does not have enough private sector business representation. It is easy to say you want to go to Sacramento and create jobs. That is the mantra we have heard for the last four or five years from our politicians. What is different about my candidacy is I have actual experience in helping to create and grow businesses.”
Steinorth said that to be effective as an advocate for the private sector within the context of serving in government, one has to be prepared to tirelessly promote the application of common sense to the regulatory function of government. . Steinorth addressed the impact of state mandates on local government.
“AB 109, the public safety realignment or prison realignment to reduce prison overcrowding was not intended to be a threat to my family’s safety but that is the end result,” Steinorth said. “The state has simply ignored the prison overcrowding problem for more than 20 years.  This most recent emergency is really nothing more than an example of poor planning by our legislative leaders.
“As the state funneled money toward other priorities, our local court system, has received $600 million less in funding,” he continued. “In dealing with that in the only way she can, our county’s presiding judge, Marsha Slough, is reducing services to the point where we no longer have the full service court system we enjoyed. The Rancho Cucamonga Courthouse is now going to be devoted entirely to criminal cases. The Fontana Courthouse will handle civil and traffic cases. Most of the civil cases and some of the criminal cases will be handled out of the San Bernardino Courthouse. This is a tremendous challenge beyond being an inconvenience to our population in this county. You have residents, especially ones in the far reaches of our county, out in the desert communities who will have to travel four hours one way to get to court. A Rancho Cucamonga resident who for one reason or another does not have access to a car and must use public transportation to get to court in San Bernardino will need to spend upwards of two hours travelling one way to court. That is the result of decisions made at the state level where the impact on us is tremendous.”
Steinorth did not shrink from expressing himself as a dyed-in-the-wool Republican.  He said the numbers are against his party statewide, but that the principles and values the GOP embraces are sorely needed in Sacramento. He said he believes many voters are beginning to see that the Democratic supermajority in the state capital is contrary to balanced governance.
“I see the pendulum starting to shift,” he said. “[State Republican Leader] Jim Brulte is leading us. The Republican Party has to pick up two seats to break the two-thirds majority Democratic control in Sacramento. Single party control has not proven to be a healthy process of governing. Divided government, with its checks and balances, was how the system was designed to function. As Republicans we need to hold onto the 40th. I think my candidacy can be the start of a dialogue about all this. We can start the change right here.”
He has a familiarity with the district that extends beyond Rancho Cucamonga, Steinorth said.
“The way the 40th is configured, it contains roughly  three-fourths of Rancho Cucamonga,” he said. “It stretches to cover San Bernardino and Highland Loma Linda and Redlands. When I was a kid, I lived in San Bernardino and went to elementary school there. I attended  St. Thomas Aguinas High School in San Bernardino my freshman year before my family moved to Ramstein AFB in Germany while my father was in the military. When I was attending college at U.C. Riverside, I bought my first house in Highland. One of the first businesses I started was in Highland.”
Steinorth now hopes to take his long developed roots in the community, experience in private business, and service on the city council to Sacramento to represent the people of the Inland Empire in the Assembly.

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