Democrats Ready for 19th Congressional District Challenge

FRESNO, California 14-percent of those polled supported Madera Unified School Board member Dr. Loraine Goodwin. Mariposa County Planning Commissioner Les Marsden received eight-percent. But 54-percent of Democratic voters say they haven't decided who they'll support.

Democrats Marsden and Goodwin are trying to improve their name recognition in a sprawling district. Les Marsden is the Mariposa County Planning Commissioner and the county's former Economic Development Corporation President.

Marsden said, "The biggest challenge has been the fact we have to overcome this silly idea this is a safe Republican district."

Some republicans urged Marsden to run.

Dr. Loraine Goodwin is a physician, an attorney as well as a member of a school board member. Goodwin said, "I decided to run for congress because I saw for over ten years the valley has been deteriorating. I didn't feel that we were getting the attention we wanted and should have."

Both say low poll numbers at this point don't mean a thing. Besides, 54-percent of voters polled were undecided.

Marsden explained, "I think the metric of that poll was important only in name recognition and a lot of people don't know who I am, Les Marsden, because they knew me as Les Marderosian, which was the name I had when I left Fresno."

The former actor changed his name for professional reasons.

The 19th congressional district spans five counties, meaning Marsden and Goodwin will spend a great deal of time on the road to meet voters. Goodwin said the district is "very far-reaching. A lot of different needs. Lot of different people but I'm enjoying it."

Both see job creation as a valley priority. Marsden adds securing more water for local farmers is key. He said, "The problem is not simply taking extreme positions on either side but getting those sides to work together for the common good."

Goodwin is known by many as Dr. Loraine. She sees herself as a positive role model who emphasizes the importance of education. Goodwin added, "I felt the valley also needed to have minority representation. I don't think there's ever been a black female run for this office."

Voters go to the polls June 8th.

The top Democrat and Republican will face off in November in the race to replace Congressman George Radanovich.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.