Born in Mexico City in 1979, Esther Barajas migrated to the United States in 1985 with her parents and two siblings. First arriving in San Diego, Esther and her family moved to Visalia in 2007, two years after she attained U.S. citizenship. A 1997 graduate of Mission Bay High School, she furthered her education by earning a degree in Interior Design from the Institute of Design and Merchandising. Esther founded the first Latino Rotary Chapter in Tulare County. Currently, she works as a licensed insurance broker.
WHY, CONCISELY, ARE YOU RUNNING?
I think that politics is a place that puts leaders, like myself, in which we can impact our district either negatively or positively and, of course, that’s why it’s important to choose the right candidate. But again, because I believe it’s a place that allows leaders to improve the quality of the district.
WHAT POLICY ISSUES OR SOCIAL AND FISCAL ISSUES DO YOU HAVE IN COMMON WITH DEMOCRATS, BECAUSE THEY ARE SUCH AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY IN THE STATE GOVERNMENT?
Creating jobs is a non-partisan issue. We want to see more jobs in California, more precisely in the Central Valley. Education I believe also is non-partisan. We definitely want to continue enhancing education and continue to make it accessible. That’s definitely non-partisan. And I would add a third, which is part of my campaign, is assisting our veterans, improving their services and their programs. I believe whether you’re a Democrat or Republican if you know someone who has served, if you’re related to someone who has served, whether you do or not it should be everyone’s desire or goal to ensure that our veterans are being assisted properly. I think that is a non-partisan issue, too.
WHO ARE YOU SUPPORTING FOR GOVERNOR?
I’m going to say Tim Donnelly. That’s my guy. He has demonstrated himself to be a conservative when it comes to fiscal matters. And I would identify myself as a fiscal conservative. We stand on the same platform as far as gun rights and traditional marriage, etc. And I think when it comes to the matters that people are concerned about we are very much aligned.
COULD YOU ELABORATE A LITTLE MORE ON GUN ISSUES?
In a time in which we are seeing all this violence with guns and the schools, it’s important to track down and to have a track system of who is obtaining guns. It’s logical and it’s only wise that we know who we are selling guns to, that we have registered gun owners. However, when it comes to gun rights, it is definitely a constitutional right. As citizens, we have the right to bear arms and use them if we feel endangered. I don’t think we should have that right questioned, or in any way compromised.
THE ACA WILL NOT COVER UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT?
I believe that any assistance programs that we create in our nation, in our country, should be designed for people that are legally in the nation.
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON FRACKING?
I’ll abstain for the moment. We don’t yet have an established policy or statement we will make on that.
HOW ABOUT THE WATER BOND INITIATIVE?
I do believe that we need to focus on working with the federal government in releasing more water to our Central Valley. We’re obviously facing a third year of drought in California. I am not for the Bay Delta proposed tunnels. I believe it’s $26 billion that they would cost us, and we are not assured that we will be obtaining the water that we require. And it’ll also damage the Delta permanently. So I’m for anything that is fiscally conservative that is a viable solution. I think we need to start seeing a method of desalinization.
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE HIGH-SPEED RAIL?
I’m definitely not for it. It has pretty much surpassed the budget. I think the cons are more than the pros.