Ventura County Star Interview

Election 2020: Democratic assemblymember, Republican business owner run for Senate

Erin RodeVentura County Star

September 23, 2020

Gary Michaels

Republican business owner Gary Michaels is running to represent the state Senate's 19th district.

Age: 63

Occupation: Small Business K-12 Telecommunications Owner

Education: I am a college graduate trained in accounting.

Years in Office: None.

Top three goals if elected: 

The economic recovery required to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic: Here is what we need to do. The key to creating jobs through government policy IS NOT LESS REGULATION OF SAFETY, NOT CUTTING WAGES, NOT SKIRTING ENVIRONMENTAL RULES, it is letting the private sector do that for us and set ground rules, and have an incentive structure. I will do this in all the cities in this district if elected. We need the leaders of all the companies right here in Ventura County to come back to their offices and lead their employees back into the marketplace. And the political class needs to support them, collaborate with them and do whatever we can do get burdensome SACRAMENTO regulation out of the way to help these leaders succeed.Get the Daily Briefing newsletter in your inbox.

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What will l do differently with K-12 schools? I will author a bill to fund non-classroom-based charter schools including home study, work study and computerized learning programs for disadvantaged students. For students who have done well in school, distance learning extends what they have received in the classroom. For students who have not been doing well in the classroom, sending more of it to them via internet is not a remedy.  We must connect these kids to experienced teachers who can provide them with individualized learning programs.

Political leadership is needed to incentivize developers to build enough affordable housing including very low-income housing but that appears to be beyond what current California politicians can achieve. This is why I am running for State Senate. I am very persuasive. I think I can help Governor Newsom. He is ambitious but I have read aloof and needs a senator like me who can make deals, work the bureaucracy, pat colleagues on the back and schmooze with everyone in both the legislative and executive branches.