Republican State Assemblyman Travis Allen has caught plenty of waves during his decades of surfing the waters off the coast. Now, the 44-year-old conservative from Huntington Beach, an avid short board surfer, is looking to ride a wave bigger than any he has conquered in the Pacific; a political tide composed of like-minded voters from across the Golden State that he hopes will elect him as California’s next governor.
Allen, a supporter of President Donald Trump and wielder of a sharp tongue on the campaign trail, said he could win the gubernatorial race. The legislator of six years and Orange County financial planner notes that Democrat Jerry Brown, California’s outgoing governor, won the 2014 election with 4.3 million votes and that Trump received 4.4 million votes from Californians in the 2016 presidential election.
“There is absolutely a path for a common-sense Californian to be elected in the state of California, to push back against the failed policies of the California Democrats, and make California once again the greatest state in the nation,” he said, “and that is what I’m exactly what I’m going to do.”
Allen was slated third in the governor’s race in a poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California between March 4 and March 13.
He is one of several aspiring governors interviewed by California Black Media recently. The candidates will appear on the same ballot, regardless of party, in the June 5 primary election. The top two finishers advance to the Nov. 6 general election.
Allen’s campaign sits on a platform of repairing roadways, increasing school choice, being tough on crime, enforcing immigration laws, improving California’s water supply, eliminating the six-month-old Senate Bill 1 gas tax and slashing other taxes. He discussed those topics during the interview with CBM, edited and condensed for clarity.
Why are you running for governor?
“I love this state. I’ve had to watch as my parents left the state; my brother has left the state. My best friend lives in Texas now where he doubled the size of his house. The clients that I manage money for now live in 22 states around the nation. I was elected to the California Legislature because I was tired of watching the devastation the California Democrat Party has inflicted on California.
After six years in the legislature, where I stood up for every opportunity to fight for hard-working Californians, I realized I couldn’t change the state in the legislature. The only way to truly change the state and make California the greatest state in the nation is by being the next governor.”
The same ideals that pushed you to run for state assembly, fuel your run for governor?
“Absolutely, California has out of control poverty and homelessness. People with jobs are leaving our state. We have the highest poverty rank in the nation, and the nation’s highest homeless population. One in five Californians live below the poverty line. Two hundred and forty-three thousand Californians have left over the last seven years, taking $8 billion with them.
This is because the California Democrats have controlled the California State Legislature for 39 of the last 40 years, and they have run the state into the ground. Jerry Brown and his family have controlled the governor’s seat 24 of the last 50 years, yet our state, which used to have the best roads, the best schools and best [inaudible] in the nation is witnessing a crumbling infrastructure, schools that our failing, and violent crime that is rising. We need new leadership in California to tackle these problems with common sense solutions to fix California and make us the greatest state. That is going to take a new governor.”
What issues will you combat initially if elected?
“I have a straightforward five-point plan. The first is to cut taxes. Starting with the repeal of the gas tax. I will bring ballot measures via special elections directly to the people of California to cut the highest in the nation income tax, highest in the nation sales tax, and among the highest in the nation corporate tax.
Secondly, we are going to get tough on crime again in California. We are going to make California safe. We’ll do this by reversing AB 109, Prop 57 and Prop 47 – laws championed by Gavin Newsom, Jerry Brown and the California Democrats – that have allowed criminals to be released early from jail and turned felonies into misdemeanors. A couple of weeks ago, a judge ruled that because of Jerry Brown’s Prop 57 over 10,000 sex offenders are going to be released early from jail. This is wrong. It’s laws like these that caused our violent crimes to spike by 15.4 percent in the last three years. My third point is to fix our roads, expand our freeways without a dime in new taxpayer money.
Next, is fix our broken education system and give parents the choice to send their kids to the very best schools in the state whether they are traditional public schools or traditional charter schools or whether we want to home school our kids. We also need to give back local control to the local districts over the curriculum taught in our classrooms. This one-size-fits-all Common Core mandate in California is failing our students. Last, we must complete the California State Water Project. This means building new water sources – above ground and below ground.”
How much will taxes be cut?
“Starting with the repeal of the gas tax in its entirety, you’ll see legislation from me this year. Our tax-cut plan should be coming out within the next few weeks.”
What would your relationship be with the federal government?
“I am the only candidate in the race that voted for, supported and wrote op-eds in favor of our President of the United States. I think it is incumbent on the next governor to have the best possible relationship with the White House to the benefit of all Californians regardless of political party. The actions of Jerry Brown and the California Democrats against the White House and the rule of law in this country has had an incredibly negative effect upon Californians and the principle example is this - the illegal sanctuary state. This policy is endangering Californians by sheltering criminals; by sheltering people who are here illegally that are committing crimes.”
How will you close the wealth gap between African Americans and other ethnic groups?
“More economic opportunity for all and a respect for the rule of law. When we cut taxes that will provide more jobs for everyone, in every community across California at every income level. When we cut regulations on our businesses, it creates more economic opportunities for our state. When we get tough on crime, it enables all our communities to live safely and securely in our state once again.”
Do you have a strategy to assure more Blacks are appointed to various boards, commissions and jobs in government?
“I’m absolutely against any form of affirmative action. This country is founded upon the belief that all men are created equal, and we believe in the merit someone’s work and not the color of their skin. All opportunities should be available to everyone in California, regardless of your ethnicity, where you live in the state or where you started in life.”
What have voters said to you?
“We have seen a massive groundswell of support across the state. Californians are tired of being ignored and forgotten by Sacramento and the Bay Area. There is a silent, secret majority that will be silent no longer. Californians are tired of paying among the highest taxes in the nation, of watching an exploding homeless population crowd our cities and don’t believe in the soft on crime policies of Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom that have seen violent crime increase across California.”
Why should African Americans vote for you?
“California must cut taxes. We must cut excessive regulations; this will directly result in companies hiring more people. More people will be given the opportunity to start their own company. At the end of the day, Californians want to work; not to be on welfare, but these jobs have been forced out of our state due to decades of California Democrats and their high taxes and high regulatory policies.”
McKenzie Jackson is freelance journalist for California Black Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.