Election 2012

Neil Nisperos and Benjamin Demers, Staff Writers
Created: 05/19/2012 07:08:49 AM PDT

Democrats Cheryl Brown and Joe Baca, Jr. could easily be considered the favorites to make it though June’s primary for Assembly District 47 and face each other in November.

The have name recognition in local communities.

They have funding from significant donors.

They have support from high-profile politicians.

But first, they will have to get by two Republicans, including a 95-year-old woman intent on helping her peers.

People who are lucky enough to reach their ninth decade might be grateful to take it easy. For Thelma Beach, she wants to take a seat in Sacramento.

“Age is a just a number. The years are just numbers,” Beach said. “Grant you, I don’t have the strength or stamina when I retired or when I was working but I’m up at 4 in the morning hitting the desk and the paperwork, catching up on all of the mail that I get.”

Beach’s platform centers on helping out fellow senior citizens. Recent budget adjustments have included cuts to public services that help the elderly such as in-home support care.

If elected, Beach said she would steer more public funds towards programs that would provide better care for the elderly.

The Grand Terrace resident was a senior administrative staff analyst and budget chief for the New York City Department of Corrections. She is for strict immigration control as well as improving the state’s school systems.

Beach and fellow Republican Jeane Ensley are running for office in an overwhelmingly Democratic – 50 percent to 28 percent – district.

District 47 includes Rialto, Bloomington, Colton, Grand Terrace and parts of Fontana.

Ensley, who is a retired fraud investigator for a credit card company, echoes a familiar Republican platform: The state has too many business regulations.

“In San Bernardino County, a lot of our tax base comes from mining,” Easley said. “There are so many restrictions – we are not allowed to mine as much as we use to and that would be a great source of income.”

Easley has slammed Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, which mandates that the level of emissions of greenhouse gases must return by 2020 to levels last seen in 1998. She said the environmental law hinder job creation and forces business out of the state.

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