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Everything you need to know about Antonio Amador in California's 9th Congressional District

Republican Antonio Amador will be trying for the third time to defeat Congressman Jerry McNerney in California's 9th District.

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, Calif. — Republican Antonio Amador is hoping the third time will be the charm as he tries to flip California's 9th Congressional District red in the 2020 election.

This year will be Amador's third attempt at unseating Democratic Congressman Jerry McNerney. California's 9th District generally covers east Contra Costa County and portions of Sacramento and San Joaquin counties.

Amador ran in 2014 and 2016 and said that he joined the 2020 race because he didn't think the other candidates on the ballot would be able to handle the issues. 

With Amador aiming for the 9th District seat, ABC10 surveyed him on multiple issues facing the district.

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Amador said he has three priorities in regards to the coronavirus: looking into what happened, examining how prepared the states were, and investigating what the roles of congress and the state government should be.

He said the states were "ill-prepared" for the pandemic and that the federal government has a responsibility to work with the states.

Amador said he was also concerned about how easily people appeared to give up their freedoms and give into fears and threats as to what would happen with the pandemic.

“You might think that’s an overreaction to something, but how easily our population was controlled is frightening,” he said.

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“I think that we get and paint ourselves into a corner when we say… the only reason fires were caused and this happened was because of the environment and climate change. That’s not true at all," Amador said.

He emphasized a need for forest cutting, good management, cooperation with the federal government, and responsibility. Referencing his background in law enforcement, he also said people have to acknowledge that a "certain percentage of that (wildfires) was actually criminal."

He said that there are multiple factors behind California's wildfires that can't be pinned solely to climate change or PG&E.

RELATED: Could setting fires be the key to stopping fires?

Public safety and law enforcement

Amador is a former officer with the Los Angeles Police Department and has also served as a U.S. Marshal. 

He said that he worked with Former Governor Jerry Brown to pass the Peace Officers Bill of Rights, which he said gave officers procedural due process.

“As far as a national standpoint, I think we support our local police," Amador said. "I think we keep them independent. We don’t defund.”

Amador said that talk of a federal standard for law enforcement would be frightening because it involves the federal government determining what local police can and can't do and making those departments dependent on federal money.

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Affordable Housing 

“I’m not an expert in that area, but I am an expert in understanding that you have to bring economy to an area and jobs, and then that way people can afford housing,” Amador said.

He said the area needs homes where people can live, but noted that low-income housing should avoid projects designed to house large numbers of people in big buildings that create ghettos. 

“As a police officer, I can tell you that when you build all these housing projects and crammed people into them and called it low-income housing, you created a crime area,” he said.

Amador said people would like to have their home if they can afford it, and they should be helped toward that end.

RELATED: Stockton's first modular apartments will bring 100 new homes to downtown


“I am a proponent of vouchers," Amador said. "I am a proponent of alternative things to public education.”

Amador said vouchers are an option to look at closer but with some accountability for the schools in mind. 

He said that the children won't be able to compete with others unless they have the opportunity to attend charter schools and other types of schools.

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“I have a lot of respect for the military, and we have to take care of them. I think more could be done," Amador said. "It’s going to take cooperation between Republicans and Democrats to get things done because it all takes funding if it’s a federal program.”

He supports the health care clinic in French Camp, but he criticized McNerney for taking 14 years to reach this point. He also said that some credit for the clinic should go to former 10th District Republican Congressman Jeff Denham, who he said helped secure the funding.

He believes more services should be available to veterans, and that the area will need a strong leader to make progress in this area.

“We can’t wait every 14 years to make progress on a particular project," Amador said.

RELATED: Groundbreaking for new Stockton VA Clinic is dream turned reality for veterans

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