District 10 candidates debate on how best to handle COVID-19 in Central Valley

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TURLOCK, Calif. (KTXL) – Republican Stanislaus County veterinarian Dr. Ted Howze continues to challenge his Democratic opponent, Congressman Josh Harder, for his District 10 seat in the Central Valley.

South San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although both District 10 candidates agree that many families will require financial aid to recover, Harder explained the steps he’s already taken.

“I created the Central Valley PPE initiative to make sure that we were getting masks and gloves and gowns to frontline healthcare workers,” Rep. Josh Handler, D-District 10, told FOX40.

Though his Republican opponent says he shares Handler’s plan, Howze wants to “make sure that we bring economic aid in that actually helps the district, helps our small businesses.”

Howze said his “first goal would be to make sure that aid in the form of any type of stimulus or direct payments goes to working-class families, not corporations.”

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However, Rep. Harder explained that he’s already done that by voting for the CARES Act, which “gave every American making less than $100,000 a year a stimulus check. That was well-deserved, well-needed.”

In May, Howze’s campaign ran into criticism and controversy, with a number of racist and homophobic posts found on his social media profiles, according to reports.

He claims that was the work of a hacker.

“This community knows me. It knows my family, it knows where our heart is: we’ve always been there to help everybody of any race, gender, or sexual preference,” Howze said.

Howze’s campaign also claims that Harder wants to defund the police, something Rep. Harder has rejected.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Harder said. “We should not be laying off cops and fire fighters, especially in the wildfire season that we’ve seen right now.”

Monday, Oct. 19 is the last day to register to vote in California. For more information and to register online, click or tap here.

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