Andy Caldwell: A government watchdog vs. a career politician
Election 2020 Guest Commentary

Andy Caldwell: A government watchdog vs. a career politician

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Andy Caldwell, of COLAB, speaks at the annual Strawberry Industry Recognition Dinner at the Santa Maria Fairpark on April 3. Caldwell is running for the 24th Congressional District seat against incumbent Rep. Salud Carbajal. 

I identified as a traditional Democrat for half my life because then and now, I wanted the little guy to have a fighting chance! This has to do with my life experience. I grew up relatively poor in Lompoc as a result of my dad having passed away when I was nine years old. My mom, an immigrant, did what she could to provide a decent life for us, however, I started working when I was nine years old to help out. Nevertheless, I am not complaining as I consider myself fortunate to have been raised by parents who were members of the greatest generation.

As I got older, I realized, as did Ronald Reagan, that the Democratic party had drifted far to the left, leaving me behind for the following reasons. First, I was raised to believe that one’s quality of life begins with a work ethic and a good job, rather than false assurances having to do with government handouts. Second, I believe it is unethical and unrealistic to believe that other people, even the rich, owe me anything. Third, I learned you can’t multiply wealth by way of division! I remain committed to preserving the dream of opportunity by way of liberty for your family and mine.

This coming election, therefore, does not present a choice between a Republican and a Democrat to represent the Central Coast in Congress. Rather, this election will determine whether or not America continues down a path towards socialism, that is, a takeover of our entire economy by the federal government. It is a stark choice indeed.

You name it! Medicare for all, banning private insurance, the Green New Deal, free college for everyone, a free universal basic income (even if you don’t want to work), a 70%-90% tax rate, open borders, the list goes on and on. All of these programs championed by congressional Democrats, including Salud Carbajal, present an existential threat to liberty and all this country has to offer hard-working people who deserve to keep what they have earned.

If you think waste, fraud and abuse are rampant in Washington, D.C. now, can you even imagine what will happen if we let government take over the rest of our economy? Look no further than our current experience here in California, a state that is run exclusively by socialists masquerading as Democrats.

What would happen if you send a government watchdog to Congress instead of a career politician? Now is your chance to find out! Understand that I have never aspired to become a politician and that is still true to this day. I simply want to serve and represent your interests, not partisan party interests, as I have been doing for the past 30 years. The only change? If you elect me to Congress, I will not only be able to speak, I will be able to cast a vote in your best interest!

Most importantly, I am a man of my word. What I say to you here in the district, will be the same thing I say in Washington, D.C. The same cannot be said of Salud Carbajal. Salud Carbajal claims to be a bi-partisan moderate who works across the aisle, but he has done nothing to serve as a check against the most extreme factions within his party. In fact, he has enthusiastically embraced their most extreme proposals, while peddling a whole different story back home. I am here to say, he can no longer have it both ways.

With your support, I intend to help America return to its roots of freedom, liberty and limited government. We are to be a nation of free people served by citizen representatives rather than by a professional political class that seeks to control every aspect of our lives. For more information visit

Andy Caldwell is a local government watchdog, pro-business advocate and a candidate for the 24th Congressional District. He is the executive director of COLAB, The Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business.


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Related to this story

Andy Caldwell believes he can see government from both sides of the aisle. He spent half his life as a registered Democrat before becoming a Republican. But Caldwell, who’s challenging incumbent Democrat Salud Carbajal for his 24th Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives, said he doesn’t believe either party is serving the needs of the people any longer.

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