Boxer’s vacancy to catalyze senate changes

Possible new candidates jump on the invitation to adapt focuses

California could generate a multitude of jobs or dramatically change consumer safety laws in the future as prospective politicians look to fill Sen. Barbara Boxer’s vacancy in 2016.

Boxer, a Democrat, announced she will not run in the 2016 senate elections for a fifth term via a YouTube video released last Thursday.

According to an SFGate article from December, speculation about potential candidates for Boxer’s spot and Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat opening in 2018 have narrowed down to Democrats already in high office positions, including Attorney General Kamala Harris, and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

SFGate also mentioned Rep. Adam Schiff  and Rep. Loretta Sanchez as possible candidates.

As senator, Boxer focused on legislation regarding women’s issues, water and highway spending, protecting wilderness in California and ensuring consumer health, SFGate wrote.

“I have to make sure the senate seat stays progressive,” Boxer said. “That is so critical.”

Boxer also holds positions on three U.S. senate committees, the Environment and Public Works Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, and the Select Committee on Ethics, according to her website.

Incoming senators may have different priorities.

Like Boxer, Harris has advocated for consumer safety, but her position as chief lawyer could affect the legislations she sponsors. Impeding transnational gangs has taken a major part during her term in office.

In contrast to Boxer’s reputable forceful advocacy, Harris has been criticized for her caution around controversial topics, LA Weekly wrote.

In a discussion with the Sacramento Bee recorded and posted on YouTube last year, Harris answered questions on legalizing marijuana use in California with a wait-and-see tone, saying that marijuana legalization is “something that we’re watching and I think California can do well to let Washington and Colorado work it out and see how that actually does work.”

Newsom’s website projects job creation and minority access to higher education as the Lt. Gov.’s focuses in addition to legalizing medical marijuana.

While speaking at a book seminar at San Francisco State University recorded by Nick Morris, Newsom presented hopeful views on marijuana legalization.

Regarding the drug Newsom said, “We don’t have to condone the use. We can actually get a handle on the use and we can address the criminal justice issues in a thoughtful and legitimate manner.”

LA Weekly reported that in addition to Democrat candidates, people have also speculated about Republican politicians Kevin Faulconer, mayor of San Diego and radio anchor Larry Elder.

Despite opting out of California’s senate race, 74-year-old Boxer still plans to make political changes.

“I am never going to retire,” Boxer said in the video. “I’ll continue working on the issues that I love.”

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