Merced County Times Newspaper
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Assembly hopeful Pazin decries split in Merced County due to redistricting


Mark Pazin
Mark Pazin

Mark Pazin, a candidate for State Assembly in the new District 27 which splits through the Merced County region, says the reshaped boundaries are politically motivated.

“They have taken the north part of Merced County and put it in one district, and the south part of Merced County and put it into another district, leaving only the center of the district intact,” according to Pazin, a conservative candidate, who was interviewed by the Times recently.

During the last election, all of Merced County was in one Assembly district. Many years ago, the courts stated that Merced County could not be split up because it was unfair to the Latino voters.

Now it seems the state has reversed that decision allowing Merced County to be split three ways.

Pazin says he is against the state being a “One Party” system where if you aren’t a Democrat, you have no say in government.

According to Pazin, the valley counties suffer most under this system.

Why is Pazin running for office? He said he has the time and the background as the former sheriff of Merced County and the former chief law enforcement officer for the state, serving under Governors Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom. He says he is perfectly capable of representing Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

His number one priority is water. “There is just not enough water storage for the people living in California. The voters of the state have bonded themselves to pay for the storage of water, but there has not been action.”

The result is that there is not enough water for crops, and the state wants to take more.

Public safety is a problem, he says, and homeless people play a role in the issue, according to Pazin who says that the government keeps throwing money at the problem without results.

The state keeps adding gas taxes when the price of gas in California is already the highest in the nation, the candidate points out. This hurts working people the most, he said, adding that the state legislators claim they are trying to help the working people.

Local representation is essential according to Pazin. He was born and raised in the Merced area, and with his background, he feels he is the perfect choice to represent Merced County and District 27 in November.

In the election, the local Republican faces Fresno City Council member Esmeralda Soria, a Democrat. Locals may remember that Soria challenged U.S. Rep. Jim Costa in the 16th District Congressional race a couple years ago. She lost the race, but went on to serve in her final term on the City Council.

Pazin has never lost an election, having run successfully for Merced County Sheriff in 2002, 2006 and 2010. His extended reach to Sacramento started when he was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve on the 911 Advisory Commission that had oversight of the dispatch centers across the state. When he retired from the Sheriff’s Department, Pazin went on to serve as chief of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, first under Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and then under current Gov. Gavin Newsom, another Democrat.

Now Pazin says his focus is on the “four pillars of my candidacy.”

They are:

  1. Adding water storage to our infrastructure
  2. Ensure there is funding for law enforcement
  3. A review of taxation in the state
  4. A more comprehensive approach to the homeless crisis.
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