Republican congressional candidate Dr. Don Regan spoke Tuesday at the College Republican’s meeting at Girvetz Hall, making his case for why student voters should check his name on their Nov. 2 ballots.
An audiologist and deaf education teacher by profession, Regan expressed some concerns to his 40-person audience about the current 23rd District representative, Democratic incumbent Congresswoman Lois Capps. Regan, who is running a grass roots campaign for the historically safe Democratic seat, said Capps has done little in this district in her six years as congresswoman.
Regan said Capps has a stagnant policy towards small businesses and economic development.
“Lois Capps has a zero percent voting record towards tax breaks aimed at small businesses,” he said. “She thinks it’s a hands-off policy”.
Another issue Regan said was important to him was the transportation problems in Santa Barbara. He said he aims to address complaints from Santa Barbara’s commuters that range from poor bus routes to infrequent bus stops.
“People can’t afford to live here,” Regan said, “and when they’re here, they can’t get around.”
Regan also spoke about environmental issues, saying he was disappointed with what he saw as a passive approach by Capps.
“You have to do more than talk,” Regan said. “You have to go out and get your hands dirty.”
Despite their differences, Regan said he and Capps share core beliefs related to women’s rights.
“We’re both pro-choice candidates,” Regan said. “We both support women’s rights.”
Students at the meeting had a variety of questions for the candidate about his preferred foreign and domestic policies.
When questioned about the situation in Iraq, Regan said the government needs a definite plan to get out of the conflict.
“I want our government to have a clear, concise and articulated exit strategy,” he said. “The government should talk to us, not at us … We ‘re [in Iraq]. We’ve got to get out of there with safety and security.”
Some students at the event said they felt it was important that Regan represented his district in a bi-partisan manner.
Daniel Rabinovitch, executive director of the College Republicans and a second-year political science major, said he felt Capps was doing little to unite the Santa Barbara area. Rabinovitch and John Peters, vice chair for the College Republicans and a third-year religious studies major, both said Regan is a moderate, likeable candidate.
“Don is a guy that both parties can like and support,” Rabinovitch said.
Regan said the Isla Vista vote will make a significant difference in the upcoming election. As a teacher and a student, Regan said he felt a connection with the residents of Isla Vista that he does not think his opponent shares.
“Don loves talking to people,” Peters said. “He’s willing to hear anyone out. He’s just someone who wants to make a difference.”