Jeff Gorman is the past chair of the Monterey County Republican Party and a small business owner. He is running, for the first time, for the U.S. House of Representatives. He’s vying for the 20th Congressional District seat. The district includes Monterey and San Benito Counties, and parts of Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties.
Gorman is the only Republican running against incumbent Democrat Jimmy Panetta and Democrat Adam Bolaños Scow.
The top two vote-getters on Super Tuesday will advance to the November election.
KAZU News recently spoke with Gorman at the Monterey County Republican Party Headquarters, where supporters had gathered to watch President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address. Here are some highlights from that conversation.
Michelle Loxton (ML): So why do you want this job?
Jeff Gorman (JG): Well, I care very deeply for the country and the traditions of the United States. I love the country. So I really want to make sure our community here, the Central Coast Congressional District, has an alternative to the powers in force now. I strongly disagree with the direction that Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi are going. And so my hope is to put… put a vision out there that people can ponder and consider of a different America. Put forward Republican principles in a way that's appealing to all Americans. Sacramento has passed thousands of laws a year for many years now and it's… it's causing problems in our economy. California is not enjoying the economic success that the rest of the country is. Let's just slow down and make fewer laws, but better laws.
ML: If you were to choose one. What do you think is the most important issue facing this district right now?
JG: I think the most important thing affecting our district here now is, I would almost say an identity crisis. Like an embracing of the American spirit, a love of country, and that "can-do" attitude. Those are all good things. But they just don't seem to be thriving here the way I would like to see them thrive. Federal government has the sole domain over citizenship and immigration, and yet California legislators have grandstanded on their sanctuary state status and they're... they're scoffing federal law.
ML: How would you go about solving something like that?
JG: Solving the identity crisis…I think that's the best way to put it. Look at what love of country means and consider love.
ML: Gorman then brought up the ongoing series of stories by the New York Times Magazine about the origins of slavery in the U.S.
JG: And when I hear people like The New York Times talk about the 400 years of tyranny, you know, and racism, I just think they're dredging up the past and they're doing it in a way that's really not based in love. And what can be done is just have the candid conversation, but not… I don't want to upset people any more than necessary, but I need to speak my mind. And I think if I do that, it'll help other people have happy Thanksgivings.
ML: I then asked Gorman about some very specific issues on the minds of voters. First, about healthcare.
JG: So when it comes to health care, the right to health care is something I'm... I'm talking to people about and hearing people use. And I equate it to the right to self-defense or the right to education. Yeah, you have the right. But that doesn't mean that the government's going to give you a gun because you have the right to self-defense. It doesn't mean that we're going to put a chip in your brain and make you smart. You’re going to have to work to be smart. I'm concerned that socialized medicine, especially during the transition, will make medical professionals feel enslaved and feel taken advantage of by the system.
ML: I also asked Gorman about his stance on immigration reform.
JG: Comprehensive immigration reform is such a big thing. It's very difficult to wrap your arms around it completely. There's already laws on the books. If we follow the laws and we need certain things, then we can make those changes. But if you start to make big changes that legalize people that have already been committing crime for 20 years… people are concerned that we'll just create this magnet for people coming here thinking they can scoff at our laws and its lawlessness.