Senate candidate Hime: bring back logging

By Skye Kinkade

State senate candidate Rex Hime said he is against dam removal, believes Californians should have the right to vote on a state split such as the Jefferson movement, and would support the reinstitution of responsible logging as a means of forest management.

Hime is one of six candidates for the District 1 senate seat recently vacated by Ted Gaines, who was elected in November to the Board of Equalization. The special primary election will take place March 26. If one of the six candidates gets a majority of the vote, there would be no need for a special general election in June.

If no single candidate is the clear victor on March 26, the top two candidates would duke it out on June 4 to represent District 1.

District 1 encompasses all of Siskiyou County and runs to the eastern edge of the state and south to the Lake Tahoe area. It wraps around the Sacramento Valley along the northern Sierra Nevada to the eastern Sacramento suburbs.

Hime said he is a veteran and a lifetime Republican who has spent more than 34 years fighting for property tax rights. He is the President and CEO of the California Business Properties Association and has a long list of qualifications that prepare him for the senatorial role, he said.

“Sacramento has lost its way,” said Hime while campaigning in Yreka on Tuesday. “It’s easy to focus on inner cities and forget about the rest of us. Too many state policies focus on urban areas.”

Hime spoke against “environmental extremists” and believes a “strong environment” can coexist with a strong economy.

When asked about the removal of the Klamath dams, Hime simply said he opposes their removal.

He believes that a vibrant timber industry with reforestation is a way that California’s forests can be kept healthy; he noted when much of the logging stopped, wildfire danger became greater.

Hime said large counties like Siskiyou County often have limited budgets, and it would be helpful if the state would provide additional funding for things like law enforcement and education.

If elected, Hime said he would fight for a state college or another community college in the area to ensure education is accessible for everyone.

He pointed out that college-age residents often leave the area to get an education and many do not return to their hometowns.

Hime said he believes Californians should “have a vote” on the State of Jefferson. If it’s on the ballot, he said, win or lose, it would “heighten the issue” and make people aware of the problems counties like Siskiyou face.

As a former Executive Director of the California State Commission for Economic Development, Hime said he is uniquely aware of the challenges in stimulating Siskiyou County’s economy. He believes bringing back forestry practices would create jobs, as would additional community colleges.

When it comes to the federal protection of wolves and their conflict with northern California ranchers who lose livestock, Hime said, “I don’t think nature should be ruling us.”

He added that he will “stand up for folks and the economy more so than the wolves” and believes that wolves are highly adaptable animals that will stick around if provided ample resources but could be encouraged to migrate elsewhere.

If elected, Hime said Siskiyou County “will get sick of seeing me” because he plans to visit the area often. “Just because it’s a big district is no excuse not to be here,” he stated.

Hime’s background

As the President and CEO of the California Business Properties Association (CBPA), Hime represents more than 10,000 California companies. CBPA is the designated legislative advocate for shopping centers, industrial and office properties, building owners and managers and other real estate investors and leaders.

Hime currently serves as the Governors’ appointment to the Board of Directors of the California State Fair, better known as CAL EXPO.

He served as President Ronald Reagan’s appointee on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to fight for private property rights and was a member of the California Task Force on Violence Prevention appointed by then Attorney General Dan Lungren. Hime also most recently served as a Regent of the University of California.

Prior to joining CBPA, Hime served on then Governor Reagan’s educational staff responsible for outreach and legislation review and as Assistant to the Director for the State Department of Consumer Affairs. Later, he was the Executive Director of the California State Commission for Economic Development, Director for the California Commission on Agriculture, as well as Director of the Task Force on the Rural Economy and as a Special Assistant to the Lieutenant Governor.

Hime served in both the Army Reserve and the California National Guard before retiring as a Major in 1990.

He was part of the Reagan delegation to the 1976 Republican National Convention and the California delegation in 2008. He was an active volunteer in the 1964 Goldwater campaign, the 1966 and 1970 Reagan campaigns.

He earned his undergraduate and law degrees from UC Davis.

Hime lives in Loomis and is married to Gwyn Bicker Hime. They have two grown sons – Rex and Reagan.

For more about Hime, visit rexhime.com

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