This story is part of a series the Siskiyou Daily News has planned on the six candidates running for the District 1 Senate seat on March 26. They include Democrats Steve Baird and Silke Pflueger and Republicans Brian Dahle, Rex Hime, Kevin Kiley and Theodore Dziuba.

By Skye Kinkade

Currently the planning commissioner for the City of Placerville, self proclaimed “principled conservative” Theodore Dziuba is one of six candidates who have thrown their hat in the ring for the District 1 Senate seat recently vacated by Ted Gaines.

An opponent of dam removal, federal protection of wolves and California as a sanctuary state, 34 year old Dziuba said he believes the California Republican Party needs change and points to “weak leadership” as the reason the party “lose(s) more seats and more voters with every election.”

“It’s time to rebuild California’s GOP, and take Sacramento back from one-party rule,” said Dziuba, who lives in Placerville with his wife and three children. “Only once we take back our voice in the legislature can we start changing things for the better.”

On his campaign website, theodoredziuba.com, Dziuba said he stands for small government and personal freedom.

“I want to get rid of the sanctuary state, and roll back California’s silly gun laws,” he said. “I stand against any new tax, and will work both to cut the high taxes we already have, and stop Sacramento’s out-of-control spending. I believe that the best way to make California great again is to create a business-friendly environment, so that folks can make their own way in the world, without the government slowing them down.”

Dziuba graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in mathematics. He was the co-founder of an e-commerce company that helped small, local retailers sell online, which eventually sold to Ebay.

At 16 years old, Dziuba was one of four original authors of OpenEMR, a free computer system for electronic medical records that today serves an estimated 200 million patients across the world, he said.

“I haven’t made a single dollar from OpenEMR, but it is one of my proudest accomplishments,” said Dziuba.

Q&A with the candidate

In an email interview with the Siskiyou Daily News, Dziuba answered several questions that are of particular interest to Siskiyou County residents.

Q: What is your position on the proposed removal of four Klamath Dams?

A: I’m against removing the dams: it’s a needless expense caused by government regulation. We need more water storage and energy generation in California, not less. This is an example of wrongheaded environmental policy. The point of conservation is to put nature to work for the benefit of people, not to protect it at all cost.

Q: What is your take on wildfire protection for north state communities and what kinds of forest management do you support?

A: Conservation isn’t about protecting nature from people, it’s about putting nature to work to benefit people. Forest management is extremely important: we’ve got to put out wildfires because they threaten communities, but that also means we’ve got to thin the forest ourselves. A forest isn’t a garden, it’s a crop: harvesting timber creates jobs and cuts down wildfire danger. It’s a no-brainer.

Q: What issues do you see as most pressing for Siskiyou County?

A: My goal in Sacramento is to end the sanctuary state. It’s the most important issue for everyone in California. It’s not just a public safety issue, but a moral issue as well. Americans respect the rule of law, and for California to thumb its nose at federal immigration authorities is downright dangerous. We have a moral duty to end the sanctuary state and enforce immigration law.

Q: Do you visit Siskiyou County often?

A: I have plans to campaign in Siskiyou in late February/early March. And when the weather gets warmer, I’ll be coming through the area on my motorcycle. Official campaign business, I promise :-)

Q: What is your favorite location in District 1?

A: I have a peaceful bit of land on the South Fork of the American River where I’ll make camp, and spend a few days hunting and fishing, entirely off the grid. It’s where I can put away the manufactured urgency of the present, and think about the future.

Do you support the State of Jefferson movement?

A: I’m sympathetic to the supporters of Jefferson. California has usurped far too many rights for average Californians, and I agree that we’re headed in the wrong direction. That’s why I’ll work to stop illegal immigration, protect our Second Amendment freedoms, and reduce wasteful government spending.

Q: Do you have any concrete ideas for stimulating the economy of Siskiyou County and the northstate in general? What about attracting businesses to the area?

A: I’ve built three successful companies in California, and I see how the state goes out of its way to strangle small business. The northstate counties are full of natural resources, resources that folks should be able to use to make their way in the world, but the government has to get its hands off first. The best way to attract business is to remove the barriers to entry. I’ll work to cut down those barriers.

Q: What is your position on the federal protection of wolves and their impact on Siskiyou County ranchers and farmers?

A: I’m against federal protection of wolves. This is an example of government hurting our farmers and ranchers by preventing them from protecting their livestock. I will work to help our farmers and ranchers by cutting down the regulatory burdens they face.

Maybe we should re-home the wolves to Los Angeles and then see what the Democrats think about them.

The election

A special primary election will take place on Tuesday, March 26, to fill the District 1 senate seat which was vacated by Gaines when he took his elected position on the Board of Equalization in January.

If one of the six candidates gets a majority of the vote on March 26, there will 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 – whether Democrat or Republican – would duke it out on June 4 to represent District 1, which 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.