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Jay Chen, CA-45 candidate, Election 2022 questionnaire

Ahead of the November elections, The Orange County Register compiled a list of questions to pose to the candidates who wish to represent you. You can find the full questionnaire below, with responses only edited for grammar and punctuation.

Name: Jay Chen

Current Job Title: Lt. Commander

Age: 44

Political Party Affiliation: Democrat

Incumbent: Yes

Other political positions held: Hacienda La Puente Unified School District (HLPUSD) School Board 2007-2015; Mt. San Antonio College Board of Trustees 2015-present

City where you reside: Hacienda Heights

Campaign website or social media:, @jfchen, @chenforcongress

The Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case that could give state legislatures greater influence over federal election rules. What do you see as the role states play in elections, even federal contests, and should there be a limit to that power? 

Our state and federal government should work together to remove barriers preventing people from exercising their constitutional right to vote and secure our voting systems from outside actors. While states must execute elections, the federal government should make resources available for states to better carry out their duties.

Do you support additional mandates to force businesses and residents to move toward cleaner energy? If so, what’s one such mandate you would support? And if not, what would be your plan to help accelerate the move to cleaner energy?

While creating more local, good-paying jobs, we can become a nationwide leader in energy development by incentivizing solar panels and EV charging capability on future large housing developments, which would make it easier for renters and owners to reduce their emissions and support clean energy.

What is one specific piece of legislation you would introduce or support in 2023 to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions? 

I would request funding to extend the LA Metro to Artesia and beyond to connect transportation networks in Orange County — such as the OC Streetcar. Improving our public transportation grid will reduce the number of cars on the road and, subsequently, reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.

In your opinion, what is the biggest concern among the constituents in your district? How do you plan to address that issue? 

Like families across the district, my family is deeply concerned by rising costs. When elected, I will champion legislation to shore up supply chains, stop oil and gas companies from price gouging, and lower the cost of healthcare by limiting the monthly cost of insulin to $35 a month.

Mass shootings have wreaked havoc across the country yet again this year, including in Uvalde, Texas where 19 elementary school students and two teachers were killed. What gun control measures, if any, has California implemented that you believe could be a blueprint for other states or the nation? 

As a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves who holds a sharpshooter certification, I believe we need a nationwide assault weapons ban similar to what we have in California. Military-style weapons are designed to quickly and efficiently kill people. It’s long past time to remove them from our streets.

Which best describes your view of Jan. 6, 2021:

A serious threat to democracy

What do you look for in candidates, in races that aren’t your own, that would cause you to back them?

I look for a willingness to work with others. When someone serves, they serve their constituents, not their personal political agenda, party leadership, or special interest groups. We need more of the ethos I learned in the military; set aside partisanship and just get the mission done.

One question that has been raised post-Roe is whether women who reside in states that have outlawed abortions could be prosecuted for getting the procedure out of state – or whether someone who helps a woman go out of state for abortion should/could be held liable. Where do you stand on this? If you believe there should be repercussions, why and for who? If you don’t, should there be stronger federal protections for women and those who aid them? 

Criminalizing women for seeking reproductive care is a slap in the face to the principles of liberty and self-determination we hold most dear. When I am in Congress, I will fight to codify abortion rights and stand up to Republicans’ dangerous push to pass a nationwide abortion ban.

Do you support the creation of a federal “school choice” voucher system, like the Educational Choice for Children Act, for students to use to attend private schools?

As a community college trustee and former school board member, I believe that every child, no matter their background, should be guaranteed a high-quality public education. Moving billions of dollars away from our public schools through a “school choice” voucher system would be detrimental to our public school system.

How concerned are you about election security in the upcoming election? How would you balance making voting more accessible while ensuring elections are secure? 

Those who perpetuate conspiracy and instill doubt in legitimate elections undermine our status as a free country. We must be vigilant and protect our democratic institutions from outside actors, but using election security to put up additional barriers and disenfranchise voters is unacceptable.

How should rising consumer costs be addressed by Congress? 

We need to address our supply chain crisis and stop megacorporations from taking advantage of this crisis by price gouging the American public. We must bring investments to Orange County that streamline the movement of goods from our ports, bolster local manufacturing, and create economic opportunities right here at home.

Is there anything you disagree with President Biden on? 

As both a Taiwanese American and someone with an extensive military background, I take the militaristic and economic threat of the Chinese Communist Party seriously, from their training exercises in the Taiwan Strait to manipulation of their currency. I believe we must do everything in our power to assure the U.S.’s strength on a global stage and work with our allies to implement fair trade deals that help American businesses and workers. In Congress, I will offer leadership that is tough on China — finally cracking down on the Communist Party’s brazen assaults on our national security, while ensuring that, instead of outsourcing jobs across the Pacific, this country invests in economic opportunities right here at home.

Do you think President Biden should run again in 2024?


What is your favorite campaign trail food?

Nothing beats a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich in a pinch.

Source: Orange County Register

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