Steinberg To Debate 20-Year-Old Foe

Marcel Weiland

OCT. 19, 2010

By KATY GRIMES

In this election cycle, there are many new faces as well as underdog candidates. But there is none so new and fresh as that of a young outsider, or “outlier” as Howard Dean quipped recently about Tea Party candidates.

Enter 20-year-old Marcel Weiland, candidate for state Senate.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is facing a reelection campaign in Sacramento’s 6th Senate District. In a surprising recent announcement, Steinberg and opponent 20-year old Marcel Weiland will hold a debate on October 21.

At a time when most 20-year-olds are studying until all hours of the night and partying just as hard, Weiland is campaigning just as diligently to become Sacramento’s next state senator.

Weiland insists that this campaign is as important to him as anything he’s ever done – it’s not a joke. In fact, Weiland isn’t sure what all of the fuss about his age is about.

And the debate is just as real. Weiland sent the debate invitation to Steinberg, who agreed to debate as long as the League of Women Voters moderated, said Weiland.

Weiland is trying to accomplish this with 172 volunteers and a shoestring budget. He has raised just $10,000.

Asked why he decided to run for state Senate, Weiland said he was on the American River College Board of Justice, the Republican Central Committee, when he decided to run for Senate, because Steinberg was going to be unopposed — again. “It’s been too long that voters haven’t had a choice for Senate,” said Weiland.

Weiland is as well-versed on the issues as any politician. Immigration, businesses leaving the state, the poor economy. Weiland has opinions and presents solutions. “Our state is hurting, jobs and businesses are leaving in record numbers, and Texas is on business hunting expeditions throughout the state,” he said.

“Voters clearly are dissatisfied with politics as usual,” said Weiland, and stated that he wants to do something about it by challenging a political stalwart. “My age should not distract voters,” said Weiland, but be seen as providing a “fresh perspective.”

Weiland was home schooled. By the time he was 16, he was already taking college classes at ARC, graduating with an A.A. in one year. Weiland was a Boy Scout and reached the rank of Eagle Scout. And most notably, Weiland was a state and national debater, debating public policy and politics while still in high school.

Weiland said his whole family is working on his campaign – even his six siblings. “My little brother is probably the only 7-year-old who knows what a precinct is,” he said.

Weiland has been canvassing door to door in the district, personally covering more than 100 precincts. “Overall my experience is positive,” said Weiland. “But every now and then, I’ll get two or three registered Democrats who’ve been supporting Steinberg since 1992.”

“It’s hard to be a Republican in a Democrat controlled district,” said Weiland. “But the issues are important to both Republicans and Democrats. With 12.5 percent unemployment, a $19 billion statewide deficit, Sacramento has lost 9,500 businesses and 50,000 jobs – there are no other issues as far as I am concerned,” said Weiland. “We can’t get jobs into this state by overtaxing and over regulating.”

Weiland expressed concern about college students and graduates who won’t have jobs to look forward to if the California economy doesn’t recover. “When students graduate in a down economy, studies have shown that they never fully recovered during their careers.”

Weiland said he has no desire to become a career politician and plans to complete continue his education, with a bachelor’s degree in public policy.

Weiland has been endorsed by the California Republican Assembly, the California Republican Party, Ron Nehring – CRP Chairman, California Republican Assembly, Dan Lungren – US Congressman, Barbara Alby – Former Assemblywoman (and current candidate for Senate District 1), Support The Platform, Sacramento Metropolitan Young Republicans, Laura Taylor – 2008 Chairperson for the Citrus Heights Planning Commission – Delegate to the National Mom Congress, among numerous Sacramento businesses and individuals.

The debate is scheduled for October 21, 2010 at 6 p.m. at the Sacramento State College ballroom.

According to Weiland, District 6 has 600 precincts. He knows he has more walking to do.

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