October 08, 2004
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or mstepanovich@csub.edu

A political forum featuring state Assembly candidates Nicole Parra and Dean Gardner, and congressional candidates Roy Ashburn and Jim Costa is scheduled Thursday, Oct. 14, at 6 p.m. in the Doré Theater at California State University, Bakersfield.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature a panel of diverse community interests posing questions to the candidates. The even t is sponsored by CSUB’s Political Science Department, CSUB’s Associated Students, Inc., KBAK Channel 29, the Center for Kern Political Education, and the League of Women Voters.

Costa and Ashburn are vying for the 20th Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Cal Dooley, D-Hanford, who is retiring after 14 years in the House of Representatives. Ashburn, a Republican, is a state senator and previously served in the Assembly. Costa, a Democrat, previously served in both the state Assembly and Senate.

Parra, the 30th Assembly District first-term incumbent, edged Gardner for the seat by less than 300 votes in 2002. Parra is a former aide to Dooley; Gardner is a Bakersfield businessman.

“This is an important opportunity for people in our community to hear from these candidates,” said Mark Martinez, a political science professor at CSUB. “Both these races are hotly contested, and both have important implications for our region. We’re looking forward to hearing what these candidates have to say about the issues affecting our area.”

The forum is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., and is being televised on Channel 29. The doors to the theater will close at 6:15 p.m., and no one will be allowed in or out except during commercial breaks.

Information tables and displays on other candidates will be set up in front of the theater from 5 to 9 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, please call the CSUB Political Science Department at (661) 664-2141.