SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – The upcoming Republican Presidential candidates debate Wednesday in Ventura County has many people talking about the key issues affecting their lives and the country.
If they had a chance to ask questions, what would they be most concerned about?
Central Coast residents have been speaking out both in our interviews and online comments.
This is the second debate in the race. It takes place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Former President Donald Trump is not taking part, and he did not appear at the first debate.
Without focusing on Trump and only focusing on the issues, the hot topics include the economy, gas prices, jobs, housing, the environment, the post-COVID crisis response, funding for the war in Ukraine, health care costs, and immigration.
Kathy Langsam said, "folks can not work together to compromise for the good of the country and things have become so politicized that's what is always on my mind."
Several people talked about immigration issues including one person who said her family immigrated in phases, following the government process, starting in the 1970's.
"I feel like there is a right way to do things. I also feel there are people who are in trouble where they live. So it is a very very difficult issue I think we need some very smart people think about it," said Capri Ebight.
A downtown worker Renee Fairbanks said homelessness is present often and it is a concern. "Because I work downtown and it is obviously a big issue here, a big issue up and down the West coast, Phoenix as well, New York. Homelessness is a problem," she said.
CNN reports the candidates debating are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. They met the Republican National Committee’s heightened polling and fundraising standards for Wednesday’s debate. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who appeared in the first Republican presidential primary debate, did not.
Former President Donald Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 GOP nomination, is not appearing.
The debate, at 6 p.m. PT Wednesday and hosted by Fox Business Network and Univision, is taking place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.
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