James Gallagher got his first taste of politics as a child, watching his grandfather on the Sutter County Board of Supervisors.
His activity grew, as he got involved in college with the Berkeley College Republicans club and then during an state Assembly fellowship program through Sacramento State University, spending a year working on legislation in Doug LaMalfa”s office.
The Sutter County supervisor now hopes to his footsteps are headed to state elected office. In a recent interview, the 33-year-old Assembly candidate focused little on what distinguishes him against his Democratic opponent Jim Reed and directed attention instead to his visions for water, public safety, and jobs and economic development.
“That”s what impacts people the most every day,” he said.
A sixth-generation farmer with a legal background as an agricultural law attorney, Gallagher said he is committed to protecting water rights, providing for new surface water storage, and establishing area of origin rights protections to protect water users in Northern California.. He”s opposed to the Twin Tunnels project and thinks the latest plan for groundwater regulation needs to be refined or repealed and rewritten.
“Every year our water supplies have a target on them,” he said. “We need to be ever vigilant on that.”
Gallagher also said he is passionate about reforming prison realignment through Assembly Bill 109 to address issues faced by local jails and probation departments that are dealing with felony inmates. His goal is to allow local law enforcement the flexibility to send dangerous felons back to state prison or utilize private facilities, as well as to see the state commit more funds to local law enforcement.
He hopes to work with local Economic Development Corporations to discuss partnership to bring employment and jobs to the north state. As he sees other states actively recruit businesses with incentives, Gallager said he thinks California should do the same, perhaps by way of tax breaks and regulatory incentives.
He also said he is committed to reducing and streamlining regulation as much as possible, such as those imposed on trucks and diesel engines through the California Air Resources Board, Cal-OHSA requirements and worker”s compensation.
Contact reporter Ashley Gebb at 896-7768.