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Jordan Cunningham talks campaign issues and attack ads

Republican Jordan Cunningham says it’s his passion for the community, coupled with his experience as a Deputy District Attorney and taxpayer advocate, that motivated him to run for the State Assembly.

“If you want to expand our water supply help our small business climate I don’t care if you’re Republican, Democrat or Independent, I want to make that happen.” Cunningham said.

The husband and father of four grew up in Atascadero, eventually settling in Templeton. He’s proud to call the central coast home, but worried about its future.

“I see on the state level a climate where it’s gotten harder and harder to do business. I think we need to turn that around and make some changes there. We’re going to be dealing with the closure of Diablo here in nine years and it’s going to reshape in a lot of ways our local economy.” Cunningham said. “We’ve got 1500 head of household jobs we have to replace in nine years or we’re going to see people moving away and I don’t want to see that. Those are my friends, people I grew up with.”

Job creation, public safety, taxes are among the issues he says he’ll fight for. One of the most important, water.

“I put out a plan which I would love to help see to fruition is to take that desal plant they have at Diablo and repurpose it and pipe it with a 7 mile pipeline to Lopez Lake and be able to use that water locally,” Cunningham said. “I think we have in our grasp the technology to solve our water supply problems here on the central coast.”

Cunningham also wants to get career and technical education back into the forefront of local schools.

“Reaching them early and getting them ready not just for college, but they could go out and be an electrician, or a welder or a plumber or work in an auto shop,”

Cunningham is proud to have hundreds of endorsements ranging from small business owners to the California Teachers Association, farmers, ranchers, law enforcement, including both the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County Sheriff.

“They want people who will go to Sacramento and understand that the people up there in the dome building don’t always understand what it’s like on the ground trying to keep the public safe.” Cunningham said.

But it’s his work as a former prosecutor that’s being used against him by his opponent in attack ads he says are inaccurate.

“My opponent doesn’t have any support from law enforcement she hasn’t worked in it and based on the tenor of the attacks I don’t think she has a very deep understanding of how it works.”

But Cunningham has been criticized for his attack ads against Dawn Ortiz-Legg too. We asked why he chose to run a rather graphic ad showing a Code Pink protest with blood and coffins.

“When they were doing those coffin protests it was august 2005 that made national news. My opponent was organizing for Code Pink locally, according to her own blog, in September and October 2005, so she knew the tactics were used and she participated in protests herself in Bakersfield,” Cunningham said. “While I was prosecuting crimes, serving my community that’s what she was doing.”

Cunningham says he continues to serve his community. He volunteers as a youth sports coach and serves as a trustee on the Templeton Unified School District board and is the president of the Central Coast Taxpayers Association.

“This is my home, if the voters pick me I’ll do the best job I can for them.”

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