Esparto farmer and retired Marine Corps officer Charlie Schaupp is one of five Republican candidates elbowing for attention in the new 3rd Congressional District.
Others include airline pilot Rick Tubbs of Vacaville, prosecutor Tony Carlos of Yuba City, real estate agent and karate instructor Eugene Ray of Vacaville and Colusa County Supervisor Kim Vann of Arbuckle.
A sixth candidate, pizza store assistant manager and Marine Corps veteran Tim Core of Yuba City, dropped out last week. He has endorsed Tubbs.
Incumbent Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Creek, is so far the lone Democrat to enter the race to represent most of Yolo County, minus West Sacramento, and all or portions of Solano, Sacramento, Lake, Colusa, Glenn, Sutter and Yuba counties.
The crowd of Republicans have until the June 5 primary to turn the heads of both party faithful and Democrats. For the first time, voters will be able to choose any candidate, with the top two vote-getters going head-to-head in November.
Garamendi, 67, the former lieutenant governor and state insurance commissioner, figures to be one of them — Democrats hold a 41.6 percent to 32.3 percent advantage in registered voters. (For more, visit www.garamendi.org.)
Slightly more than 21 percent decline to state a party preference, however, and the new map gives Republicans cause for hope.
Along with the Democratic stronghold like Davis, the district includes areas currently represented by Rep. Wally Herger, R-Chico, and Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, as well as Travis and Beale Air Force bases.
In the money race, Garamendi has raised $582,413 this election cycle. He’s followed by Vann with $220,181, Schaupp with $50,649, and Tubbs with $8,201, according to opensecrets.org. Ray and Carlos have reported no donations.
A look at the GOP’s lineup:
Schaupp, 57, retired as a lieutenant colonel after 28 years of active and reserve duty in the Marines, serving in both Iraq wars.
He and his wife, Kay, settled in a house his great-grandfather built in the 1880s, and he joined his brother, Bob, in farming about 3,000 acres.
Schaupp holds an associate degree from Yuba College and a bachelor’s degree from Chico State University, both in agriculture.
A self-proclaimed “Reagan Republican,” Schaubb has served as a trustee on the Esparto school board, Yolo County Republican Party chair and Yolo County Taxpayers Association director.
His goal: “Reinstate Jeffersonian democracy,” shifting away from federal government bureaucracy toward state and local governments, with an eye toward cutting federal spending, increasing local control in water issues and reinvigorating manufacturing.
“We don’t need more people waiting on tables or washing cars,” Schaupp said. “We need more products that say ‘Made in the U.S.A.’ ”
For more, visit charlieschaupp.com.
Still a political newcomer at 36, Vann hit the ground running with endorsements from Herger and Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Atwater.
Vann has taken aim at the tax and regulatory burdens placed on businesses and on government entitlements.
“There’s just no incentive to change that cycle when you haven’t had to work for it to begin with,” she says in a video on her website.
A native of Arbuckle, Vann has said her six years on the Colusa County Board of Supervisors and as chairwoman of the Regional Council for Rural Counties gives her the political chops to represent the district in Washington, D.C.
She also has served as vice chair of the National Association of Counties rural action caucus, as board member and vice chair of agriculture and natural resources for the California State Association of Counties, and as a founding board member of the Sites Reservoir Joint Powers Authority.
A product of a farming and ranching family and a graduate of California State University, San Marcos, she has worked in private business and as an adviser on farm issues to Rep. Doug Ose.
She and her husband, Jim, have one son, Asa.
For more, visit www.kimvann.com.
Tubbs has made one run for political office, losing to longtime incumbent Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, in 2010.
A pilot for United Airlines, Tubbs also is squadron commander of the 301st Airlift Squadron at Travis Air Force Base.
A graduate of Fresno State University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, he and his wife, Kristy, have three children. He was on active duty in the Air Force from 1989 to 1998 and has run a small property management and development business.
On his website, Tubbs said that while he has experience with government budgets and is at home crunching numbers, “it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the simple budget.”
“You should spend less money than you make,” he writes on his website. “This lesson has been lost on those in charge in Washington. And just like in business, when management fails, the people pay. We cannot afford our country’s management team anymore.
“But, unlike business, in the United States of America, ‘we the people’ are the Board of Directors, and we can fire management!”
For more, visit ricktubbsforcongress.com.
Carlos has said he entered the race because he was frustrated with performance of the GOP among Hispanic voters in the 2010 election cycle.
He supports a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who have long lived in California. He said he hopes his stance on immigration will win him votes from Hispanic Democrats.
“The party needs a change,” Carlos said. “I can’t think of a Republican in the state that has the same immigration stances that I do.”
Carlos’ website says he wants to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. He faults the federal government for not securing it earlier, rather than blaming farmworkers for crossing the border.
Carlos earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Sacramento State University and a law degree from McGeorge School of Law before becoming a prosecutor.
He and his wife, Jamie, have three children and live in the Marysville-Yuba City area. At 13, he got his first job washing dishes in the family restaurant and during college and law school, he dealt poker, according to his website.
For more, visit carlos2012.com.
The 57-year-old Ray entered the race on Martin Luther King Day, vowing to find middle ground.
He attended elementary, middle and high school in Vacaville, graduated from California State University, Chico, and has been a real estate agent since 1976.
“I am a big believer that the American family and home ownership are core strengths of our society,” he writes on his website. “As the recovery of the housing market many times plays a key role in the recovery of our national economy, my knowledge and experience in this area will be very beneficial.”
His other passion is karate. An eighth-degree black belt, Ray won national and world competitions and taught generations of Solano County residents, including in some of its most troubled areas.
He is a father of three.
Ray said he can’t compete with Garamendi’s fundraising, but said: “I’ll put my people against his money any time,” referring to the roots he has in the district.
For more, visit eugeneray.com.
— David DeBolt of The Daily Republic contributed to this report.