Nathan Magsig serves on the Fresno County Board of Supervisors and is a candidate for California’s 5th congressional district, which includes Tuolumne, Calaveras and Mariposa Counties.
Magsig stopped by the studio and was Friday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”. Here is the transcript of the edited interview between KVML’s Mark Truppner and candidate Magsig.
Truppner: First of all, welcome to the Mother Lode.
Magsig: Thanks Markus. It’s good to be here.
Truppner: You are from Fresno County and the son of a pastor. You yourself were also active as a youth pastor. May I ask which church?
Magig: Absolutely. The New Covenant Community Church is located in Fresno. I’ve been attending for 25 years and have been a youth pastor for about four of those years.
Truppner: What kind of religion or denomination is that?
Magsig: This is a Baptist church.
Truppner: Are you still active in the church?
Magsig: That’s me and I actually just spent a weekend in Las Vegas watching NASCAR races with my pastor and my middle son who loves NASCAR.
Truppner: You were first elected to Clovis City Council in 2001 and to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors in 2016, and you have served as a legislative adviser in the California legislature. What experience do you have, if any, in the private sector?
Magsig: Well, I’m a licensed general contractor. For ten years I ran a non-profit construction company building affordable housing in both Fresno County and Madera County. I also served as Director of Energy and managed all construction projects for the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission. This is a company with a budget of about $120 million and 1,100 employees. So I’ve been involved in working on affordable housing and working with many different non-profit organizations. Also, (I) was involved in building a homeless facility for women and children in partnership with the Fresno Rescue Mission. This facility is called “Rescue The Children” and has been in operation for about ten years now. Thousands of homeless women and children have used this facility and the greatest work I have had the privilege of doing in my life is working with the underserved.
Truppner: Is Congressman Tom McClintock also running for District 5?
Magsig: As far as I know, I think so.
Truppner: He’s a Republican and so are you. He is also the current Congressman for that section of the Mother Lode. Why are you challenging an incumbent Republican?
Magsig: You know, for me this seat in District 5 is a new seat and I really don’t see it as taking on Tom per se… Congressman McClintock, I consider him a friend and for me I’m looking at the issues that are affecting this particular region and it’s really getting worse, not better. Right now we’re very politically charged across the United States and when I look at issues like forest management, issues like local control, water, agriculture; These are issues that cut across party lines, and we must work together, both Republicans and Democrats, to resolve these issues.
Truppner: If you win, would you get along well with the Democrats in Washington DC?
Magsig: You know, I’ve worked well with the Democrats for over twenty years, and I’m back to the type of person who just wants to get things done. And so we now have three Republicans and two Democrats on our board of directors. But if you’ve ever seen how we work, we focus on problems and leave partisanship at the door.
Truppner: How long have you been a Republican?
Magsig: My whole life.
Truppner: Who do you admire most in Congress right now?
Magsig: That’s a great question, so… I think Congressman McCarthy has done a great job of keeping the Republican Party together, and I believe he’s going to be the next House Speaker. So when I think of all the congressmen and women we serve in the United States, he really impresses me.
Truppner: And of course you’re talking about Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy. He’s a close regional neighbor of yours in Bakersfield, and one of his big problems was border control. Do you share his concerns about illegal immigration?
Magsig: So I do believe that we have to secure our borders. Right now, we have individuals entering the United States who do not have the best interests of the United States at heart. So really, every country has to secure its borders. But I’m also one who believes that I want these people here as well when it comes to workforce and anyone who wants to come here to the United States to contribute and be a part of the American Dream.
Truppner: You’ve been to the Sierra National Forest and visited the Stanislaus National Forest. You know these are not healthy forests. What needs to be done?
Magsig: Ultimately, there is far too much fuel on the forest floor and we have to manage our forest. This includes both mandatory fires and mechanical thinning. I believe our timber industry needs to be revitalized. We need to build more biomass plants so that much of the material that comes out of the forest can be burned to generate electricity. But we need wood now. Affordable housing is a major issue across the state. So we can revitalize industries that were here fifty, sixty years ago… to have a healthy forest we definitely need to dig through it.
Truppner: The biggest problem in agriculture is ___ ?
Magsig: water. One of the water projects I want to focus on is called the Big Dry Creek Project. As such, the federal government maintains a number of flood control basins on the valley floor through the Army Corps of Engineers. These basins need to be repurposed to accommodate water storms and used not just for tercentenary or quincentennial events, but for years or months like in December where we got so much rainfall, millions of acres were allowed to flow into the sea. We could have used these pools to hold water, that would both help with replenishment, and we could have transported that water when we needed it most, which of course comes up here in the spring, summer and fall months.
Truppner: Didn’t the few Republicans from California who sit in Congress try to bring about this change?
Magsig: You know, I look at Republicans like Devon Nunez who’ve been working for eighteen years to make changes and tried to get funding to build Temperance Flat. That was one of the projects he focused on. And he did an incredible job. But, you know what? More work needs to be done. I firmly believe that we can solve these problems together, since we work non-partisan and are also involved in these issues as a public.
Truppner: Nathan, KVML Radio has both ABC Radio News and Fox News Radio. I’m curious, if you’re at home watching TV or just checking your phone, what’s your favorite source of news?
Magsig: My preferred news source is of course KVML. I get all my news and information from this source only.
Truppner: (laughs) That’s a very diplomatic answer. We’re going to find out who exactly your competition is at the end of the day today. So, are there any secrets you need to confess now before they dig it up?
Magsig: Again, I have been in public office for over twenty years, so I would say that if there are any secrets, they have already been revealed. But again, I’m running because I love having the opportunity to serve and I look forward to serving District 5 residents.
Truppner: And would you like to promote your website?
Truppner: Nathan Magsig is running for the 5th congressional district of California. Thanks for your time.
Magig: Thank you. You are having a great day.
The Newsmaker of the Day can be heard every weekday morning at 6:45am, 7:45am and 8:45am on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.