State Assembly race heats up in Reedley debate

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At the forum, Ted Miller, the engineer from Caruthers, was caught between two feuding candidates Joaquin Arambula and Clint Olivier. (KFSN)

The race for the 31st State Assembly District seat got heated Monday night at Reedley College.

At the forum, Ted Miller, the engineer from Caruthers, was caught between two feuding candidates Joaquin Arambula and Clint Olivier.

"I was in a debate with you last week but you reversed yourself within 24 hours," candidate and ER doctor Joaquin Arambula said. "I think you flip-flop from one side of an issue to another."

"When you're an elected official, people that aren't elected officials can throw rocks at you," candidate and current Fresno City Council member Clint Olivier said.

They were at the debate to push for votes and answer questions critical to the Valley, but the answers often went off topic and turned into jabs.

"Frankly, I wish you would just call it how you see it and say how it is," Arambula directed at Miller.

"Sometimes I do change my mind and I'm happy that I have an open mind," Olivier defended. "And that I can weigh both sides and make good decisions for my neighbors."

All three candidates had time to talk, and Miller used part of his to question Arambula's campaign. He says most of the funding is coming from special interest groups, other doctors and people in the medical field.

"Why do physicians want to send Dr. Arambula to Sacramento," Miller asked the crowd. "Is it to build dams?."

There were also moments where the squabbling stopped and the issues became the focus -- water, jobs and high-speed rail were among them.

"I'm an engineer with an MBA and I'm a pilot and I like speed," Miller proclaimed.

There were differences in opinion but this one sets Olivier far apart from the others. Miller believes in the rail and the jobs it could bring. So does Arambula, but Olivier doesn't.

"We are condemning all you students and your children and their children to have to pay for this," Olivier said. "This thing for generations to come, the whole thing is an entire disaster."

As for water, all three know we need it.

"It has been 35 years since something has been built here in California," Arambula said. "We have doubled the state's population, we don't have enough storage."

And all three said they want to fight for it in Sacramento.
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politicspoliticscalifornia state assemblyelectiondebateReedley
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