McCarthy urges support for Gleason

Following closely on the heels of the recent string of high-profile endorsements for Roy Ashburn for 1st District Supervisor, House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy held a press conference Monday during his visit to Ridgecrest announcing his support for Mick Gleason.

“The idea that anybody in Ridgecrest could pick someone different is beyond me,” said McCarthy.

The congressman reiterated his message earlier that day to the Ridgecrest Republican Women Federated (see related article, this page) that the upcoming election would be a defining time for Ridgecrest and for the nation.

“It is important for this valley to have representation,” said McCarthy. “I have known both candidates for more than eight years. I have watched both in their line of work and their leadership. And it didn’t take me one minute to decide who I was going to support.

“We need someone who is looking out for this community, not for himself.”

He encouraged those who knew what Gleason had done for China Lake and the community to share that with the rest of the district. “These last 15 days are important because there are things that are said that are not true. You have to get the real message out there,” he said.

“In this pivotal time, we need someone with leadership. Mick has that — I recognized it in him the day I met him.” Gleason’s ability to inspire others is a testament to that, said McCarthy.

“I worked with Roy in Sacramento, and I didn’t see what he accomplished there.” McCarthy said that he would get things done in the Assembly where he served only to see them die in the Senate, where Ashburn sat.

“When Mick was commanding officer of the base, Roy never met him. I think that is very telling.” McCarthy, as well as state Sen. Jean Fuller and Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, make regular trips to Ridgecrest to meet with city and China Lake leadership. Many have criticized Ashburn for the fact that during his 14 years in the state legislature he never came back to Ridgecrest.

“This is a unique district, and we are in a unique time. We need a voice. We can’t afford to lose that.”

Gleason said that he has been honored to spend the last several months traveling around the district, and he has found that values, thoughts and ideas he sees in the region are the same as those he represents.

“I know this has been a whirlwind, but I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the value of the supervisor, and about what it means to have quality representation at all levels of government — because that’s what this is really about. It’s not about the supervisors, it’s not even about me.

“As you rise higher in government, you need quality people all along that chain to give you good information. How can Kevin McCarthy succeed at his level if he is not supported by officials who understand and reflect the values of those constituents?

“We can’t have anyone better to represent us at our highest level of government than Kevin McCarthy,” said Gleason.

The pair addressed some 50 people at Monday’s press conference. Although Vice Mayor Jerry Taylor was in the room, the other four members of the Ridgecrest City Council — each of whom has endorsed Roy Ashburn for supervisor — were not on hand.

The News Review asked Mayor Ron Carter to respond to McCarthy’s challenge to Ridgecrest to get behind their hometown candidate. Carter did not respond.

Story First Published: 2012-10-24