They say variety is the spice of life.
From a billionaire, to doctors, to a teacher, you’ll have plenty of choices when deciding your next US senator in the June primary.
More than 20 candidates are running to fill the seat of Senator Alex Padilla, vacated by Vice President Kamala Harris. NBC 7 heard from incumbent Alex Padilla and attorney Mark Meuser, the Democratic and Republican-backed candidates for the open U.S. Senate seat in California.
Meuser, a constitutional attorney who has filed several lawsuits against Governor Gavin Newsom over the COVID shutdowns, responded to a Santee woman’s concerns about inflation by phone.
“Yeah! Mom wants a new car,” laughed Beth Bowden.
She’s ready to replace her years-old SUV, but she puts the new purchase on hold due to sticker shock.
“Inflation overvalued them by $10,000,” she said.
Mueser said the federal government could use a little more financial savvy.
“The federal government needs to start balancing its budget like the state and corporations are doing, and we are doing that at home,” Meuser explained. “When the federal government spends money that we don’t have, it increases the money supply, which is one of the biggest contributors to inflation.
Bowden isn’t the only one worried about the economy.
NBC News conducted a nationwide poll the first week of May that found the cost of living and the economy are the top two issues Americans are most concerned about.
“Is inflation real? Absolutely. I’ve seen the price increases in so many categories, not just as a senator but as a father of three growing boys,” Padilla said.
“Prices are spiraling out of control and not keeping up with our wages,” Meuser said.
Meuser says Democrats are to blame for the country’s economic problems, especially with gas prices in San Diego nearing record highs again.
“Unfortunately there’s only one thing we can do right now and that’s exercise. You know what, I think I saw a headline this week where Joe Biden canceled millions of acres of drilling permits,” Meuser said.
Padilla blames companies for skyrocketing prices at the pump.
“Oil companies are absolutely taking advantage of the situation in Ukraine to unnecessarily raise gas prices,” Padilla said in response. “So we should tax them for the exorbitant profits and put that money back in the pockets of working families.”
“I don’t see a problem with that,” said Connie Collins, Democrat and San Diego native.
Although she is sheltered from the costs of inflation, she worries about the impact this is having on wages and affordable housing for the next generation.
When asked if she liked the safety net provided, she replied, “Generally. I think they’re generally more sensitive to that.”
Abortion rights became a priority after a leaked draft opinion showed the Supreme Court was at one point in favor of overturning Roe V. Wade.
Cindy Womack, a registered Democrat and pro-choice, said the country’s economic woes led her to choose to walk the aisle.
“I think under Republican office the economy held up better,” she said.
A faltering economy could prove a problem for Democrats in the primaries.