(Check Back Monday for the Daily Nexus Endorsements of California’s Ballot Initiatives)

The Daily Nexus editorial board has closely scrutinized potential candidates, measures and propositions to provide our readership with voting choices that can begin to heal our ailing economy and lead to social and civic progress.

[media-credit id=20171 align=”alignleft” width=”250″][/media-credit]Our official endorsements should be understood as nothing other than educated suggestions; the real power and responsibility lies with the voter. And, unfortunately, the reality of our situation is that any candidate — regardless of party affiliation — is going to face a host of tough decisions should he or she be elected.

It is your job as a citizen of California to research and understand the implications of each political candidate and proposition this Nov. 2.

The following are the candidates that we endorse for the upcoming Nov. 2 midterm election.

For Governor:
The Daily Nexus endorses Jerry Brown (D).

When picking between Attorney General Jerry Brown and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, it’s an easy choice.
Brown’s extensive experience and proven legislative record — he served as California’s governor from 1975 to 1963, was Oakland’s mayor from 1999 to 2007, and currently resides as the state attorney general — is a substantial testament to his ability to lead the state.

Whitman may have proven herself to be a very successful businesswoman but her lack of a political résumé and abysmal voting record are serious points of concern; she had a 28-year-long stretch in which she didn’t vote a single time and for the most part her political campaigning hasn’t extended past funding her own campaign hundreds of millions and smearing Brown.

For governor, we endorse Jerry Brown. We recognize his fiscal conservatism, political know-how and longstanding commitment to public service and value it over Whitman’s less appealing, less-certain political history and ability. Moreover, Whitman’s tendency to avoid the press is deeply concerning, as transparency is always the best policy.

In Brown’s last stint as governor, his administration’s fiscal conservatism led to one of the largest budget surpluses in state history, at about $5 billion. We’re of the mindset that if he did it once, he can do it again. Here’s to hoping.

For U.S. Senate:
The Daily Nexus endorses Barbara Boxer (D).

Barbara Boxer has been a U.S. senator since 1993, investing in important issues such as clean energy, crime reduction and women’s rights. One of the major dividing factors between Boxer and her Republican opponent, Carly Fiorina, is their opposing stances on abortion. Boxer protects a woman’s right to choose, while Fiorina opposes abortion rights and has said in interviews that she would repeal the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion if she were given the chance. Furthermore, Fiorina, a former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, has been personally tied to laying off 30,000 workers and outsourcing American jobs in the midst of a recession. As if she needs further damnation, Fiorina is also one of the few mainstream candidates to endorse Prop 23, a proposal that would hinder California’s historic global warming legislation from taking effect.

Fiorina demonstrates a threatening misunderstanding of her potential constituents while Boxer has — and will — continue to protect clean energy, women’s rights and voter’s interests.

For 23rd Congressional District:

The Daily Nexus moderately endorses Lois Capps (D).

If reelected, incumbent 23rd District Congresswoman Lois Capps will serve her 6th consecutive term in Congress.

As a disclaimer, Capps receives a moderate endorsement because of her history of voting for big-spending bills. In these times of fiscal uncertainty, a hard approach on economic reform is absolutely crucial to assure future economic stability, not to mention prosperity. Her Republican opponent, Tom Watson, has cut to the quick of this issue with his ideas to freeze taxes. However, while Capps may not be as fanatical about rollbacks in government spending, the editorial board finds some of his views, particularly on sustainability, to tend toward the extreme.

As it stands, Capps has been representing the 23rd district’s interests at the Capitol since the Clinton administration. It goes without saying that she knows how to handle herself as a competent and effective legislator. Of course, just because someone knows how to argue on the House floor doesn’t mean that they have the correct priorities.

Last September, Capps helped to pass the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, the largest fiscal investment in higher education yet. She is an avid supporter of the American Dream Act, which provides for education and citizenship to individuals who immigrated to America as children.

Furthermore, Capps has promoted investment in green energy by voting for the American Clean Energy and Security Act, to provide new clean energy jobs for millions of Americans and shift domestic energy policy away from foreign dependence. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Capps has helped to fund numerous research projects tied to UCSB, from $323,831 for Mechanisms of Opiate and Stimulant Drug Reinforcement to $685,000 for The National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network.

Independent candidate John Hager’s campaign represents a commendable effort to avoid corporate interest and circumvent the influence of PACs and the negative effects of Citizens United, but his idealistic stance won’t net him the Congressional seat.

We need someone with a proven record and a proper agenda. Unfortunately, that candidate does not exist for this seat. Capps has been incumbent for decades, and can continue to serve as a delegate for the 23rd district admirably, but we hope she sees the necessity of making the hard choices to restore fiscal harmony.

For 35th State Assembly District:

The Daily Nexus moderately endorses Das Williams (D).

Although young, Das Williams has already served as Santa Barbara City Council member for seven years and has confronted social justice and environmental issues during his term. He is a champion for public higher education and he understands the needs of youth and collegians.

Williams has the type of real-world smarts that would make him a powerful representative of Isla Vista and Goleta as the next 35th District assemblyman.

Rather than other polished, out-of-touch politicians who fail to relate to their constituents, Williams grew up in Isla Vista himself, then attended Santa Barbara City College and UC Berkeley. He has reportedly overcome both teenage homelessness and alcoholism, which speaks for his humility and makes him a relatable, down-to-earth candidate.

Das is ideologically aligned with the interests of UCSB’s student community. Hopefully, his street smarts are just as persuasive in Sacramento as they are in Santa Barbara.

However, to be clear, there are several capable candidates for this seat. It is worth noting that Williams’ opponent, moderate Republican Mike Stoker, has also shown strong leadership qualities and an inspiring commitment to bipartisanship and higher education. His no-nonsense approach should be a model to all politicians.