Coast Guard veteran Eric Ohlsen to challenge Assemblymember Tom LackeyKaitlyn Little August 15, 2019 0 COMMENTS
Palmdale resident and United States Coast Guard veteran Eric Ohlsen is running for State Assembly in California’s 36th District. He announced his intentions to run in a press release on Aug. 6.
This is Ohlsen’s first time running for public office. He has military experience in the Coast Guard, according to his website. He also studied business and psychology at Los Angeles City College.
His reason for running? He said he believes the race needs a progressive voice.
“I decided to run because I really thought that the race needed a progressive voice,” Ohlsen said. “It was kind of lacking that. The other candidates that are in the race have been trying in the area for so long and they just haven’t been able to win.”
He is running as a Democrat in an area that has traditionally had Republican representation in the state legislature. The 36th Assembly District is currently represented by Assemblymember Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale).
“A lot of people are telling me that I’m making a mistake by being a progressive candidate, but I don’t care,” Ohlsen said. “I’m standing up for my ideals and I will not waver from them because of pressure, or polls or politics in the area. I think we need to do what’s right for people because it’s the right thing to do.”
He said he wants to reach out to independent voters.
“I want to go make the case to the independents that agree with (Democrats) on social issues that we can have a healthcare system that’s paid for, we can have students go to college and leave debt-free, we can unburden those with student debt so that they have more money to make major purchases,” said Ohlsen.
Some of his priorities in the role would be fixing the infrastructure, creating more jobs and bringing a four-year university to the area. Ohlsen’s website has further explanations of his policy positions.
“I also want to bring in a four-year university because it’s not right that we have to send our population away just to get an education and then when they come back, if they come back, there’s not a lot of entry-level or mid-skilled jobs,” Ohlsen said. “There’s aerospace here, which is great, but if we don’t have those skilled workers, it’s not doing us any favors.”
On Twitter, Ohlsen has posted multiple times about Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the migrant detention camps. His Twitter biography contains the hashtags #AbolishICE and #CloseTheCamps — two trending hashtags in favor of shutting down the camps. He said that the camps are destroying lives and that separating children from their parents is cruel and inhumane.
“We need to close the camps,” Ohlsen said. “We need to get private prisons out of California immediately. I understand that California can’t go against the federal government on immigration policy, but we can resist as much as we can.”
Overall, Ohlsen said he wants to stand up for everyday people, not because the party or corporations tell him what to do, but because “it’s the right thing to do.”
Ohlsen encourages anyone to come talk to him and invites those who want to have a conversation to reach out to him.
“I’m willing to make my case to anybody,” Ohlsen said. “If they want to contact me, I encourage it. I’m going to have a booth at the AV Fair. Come talk to me.”
Kaitlyn Little is a San Diego State University graduate. She previously worked as The Daily Aztec's News Editor and a KCR College Radio host.