James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/28/2010 08:51:40 PM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Republicans running in the 63rd Assembly District race spoke about their widely diverse backgrounds and much less diverse political priorities and views Wednesday evening at a candidates’ forum.

Six of the seven Republicans running for the seat, which will be vacated later this year by termed-out Assemblyman Bill Emmerson, R-Rancho Cucamonga, spoke about reining in state spending, lowering taxes, creating a more friendly business climate in California and reforming public education.

Answering questions ranging from whether public schools are improperly indoctrinating students to whether open primaries are a good idea, the candidates stuck mostly to conservative talking points while pivoting to their relative strengths.

Asked about school vouchers and home schooling, Redlands Mayor Pat Gilbreath – an accountant by trade – said she supports vouchers and charter schools but also said she would like to change state income tax rules to make private school more affordable.

“I do support being able to deduct the tuition paid to private institutions,” she said. “That’s something I’ll work for in Sacramento.”

Asked if he was a social conservative, Paul Chabot, a former Navy officer, said liberals are “destroying our state” by pushing a progressive agenda and pushing for policies such as marijuana legalization.

Acquanetta Warren, a Fontana City Council member, was asked how the state can keep businesses from leaving and start to bring businesses back.

She answered with what has become an increasingly popular battle cry: Repeal the state law that calls for cutting back on emissions.

“We have overregulated business to the point they have left or are leaving,” Warren said. “We’ll never be able to get people off welfare without the proper jobs.”

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