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March 29, 2020

30th District election offers November preview

Robert Rivas, Democrat, faces Gregory Swett, Republican

The May 3 primary vote in the 30th Assembly District will offer a preview of the November ballot.

One-term incumbent Robert Rivas, a Democrat elected in 2018, faces Republican Gregory Swett. Both will also be on the ballot in November.

Rivas, a former San Benito County supervisor, lives in Hollister. His campaign mailing address is in Salinas. Rivas also is a former instructor at Gavilan College and a former student services staff member at San Benito High School.

The 30th District includes portions of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, including Gilroy and Morgan Hill, and San Benito and Monterey counties.

Swett, president of the one-school Willow Grove School District, lives in Paicines. He is a walnut grower.

Rivas filed a campaign statement. Swett did not.

In his campaign statement, Rivas lists the passage of the Farmworker Housing Act of 2019, a bill he authored, as his top achievement.

“This will help build safe and affordable housing in agricultural communities,” he wrote. “This bill is an important step forward in addressing our homelessness crisis, although much work needs to be done.”

The bill makes it easier for farmers to build housing for their farmworkers.

Rivas also said, “Improving our children’s education is another top priority.”

He authored the Golden State Teacher Grant Program, which secured $89 million to provide grants to teachers who commit to teach in schools lacking qualified educators.

The incumbent also wrote that, “Traffic conditions in our area are damaging our economy and our quality of life. I am working with leaders across the district to find long-term solutions for this urgent issue.”

Rivas pointed to his “deep roots” in the region.

“I was raised in farmworker housing near Hollister, after my grandfather and mother immigrated from Mexico in search of a better life. Now my wife Christen and I are raising our daughter in the same town where I grew up.”

“I’ve dedicated my career to giving back to my community,” he wrote. “I stood up to Big Oil and led the successful effort to ban fracking that threatened our drinking water.”

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