Republican state Sen. Jeff Stone, 62, a pharmacist, is seeking re-election to a four year term to represent the 28th state Senate District.

Stone was first elected to the state Senate in 2014.

The vast 28th District, which Stone currently traverses, is entirely in Riverside County, stretches from the vineyards of the Temecula Valley to the Colorado River and includes the cities of Blythe, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Murrieta, Temecula, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Wildomar.

Stone is challenged by two Democrats, Joy Silver and Anna Nevenic.

Uken Report posed a series of identical questions to all three candidates. Their responses have not been edited. Stone is the first in a three-part series.

Exactly why are you running? 

I am running for re-election to keep fighting for the people of Riverside County and the people of California to have a government that cares more about taxpayers and families than special interests that have seemed to dominate public policy.  We need lower taxes, fewer regulations and a government that protects personal liberties.  Over the past four years, I’ve been honored to help people in the 28th District solve problems they have with state government, and I would be honored to have another term to keep helping people across Riverside County.

What quality or qualities do you have that you believe your opponent does not? In other words, what sets you apart? 

Instead of speaking of my opponent, I believe my experience as a pharmacist and a small business owner gives me the insight on how California can best be governed.  Throughout my career in public service, I have always brought private sector perspectives to the way our various levels of government (city, county, and state) can best operate giving constituents the representation and service they deserve and should rightfully expect.

What is your single biggest achievement in political office – outside political office? 

I believe my biggest achievement in political office has been to help people when they are in need.  The role of an elected official is not just to introduce and vote for good laws and ordinances … it is also to help constituents with challenges they regrettably often have when dealing with government bureaucracy.  As for outside of political office, my biggest achievement has been to help my customers as a pharmacist live a better life by helping them with their medical needs.

Identify one, just one, time when you rallied opposing viewpoints in support of your plan, proposal, initiative, etc.  

When I was first elected to the City Council, my fellow councilmembers had voted before I was elected to give a $3 million gift to a big box retail store in exchange for that store locating in our city.  I didn’t believe giving away public money to one of the largest companies in the world was the right thing to do, so I fought back and launched a citizen’s referendum campaign to overturn the decision.  The result?  The city backed out of the deal, and today – that location where the store was going to be is now one of the largest retail malls in the state generating millions of dollars a year in local tax revenue and employs over 2,000 local residents.  This experience taught me that one voice really CAN make a difference.

How much to you expect to spend on your race? 

I will likely spend as much as it takes to get my message of lower taxes, safer streets, and bringing more high quality jobs to Riverside County out to the voters of the 28th Senate District.

Who is your political role model and why?

President Ronald Reagan had it right when he said that government is not the solution … it is the problem.  He believed, as I do, that people who have the ability to operate without oppressive government regulations will succeed and prosper.  His commitment to principles and his ability to work with all people to bring them together gave me the inspiration to become involved in public service.

What are the three most notable endorsements you have received to date? 

I’m proud to be supported by the Riverside Sheriff’s Association as well as having been named as a Champion of Small Business for the National Federation of Independent Business and have received an A+ rating from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Who recruited you, or did you decide to run on your own? 

I got involved in politics when graffiti was becoming a problem in my home town, and I wanted to do something about it.  As long as my constituents and family believe I have something to offer, I will continue to seek to serve the public.

Do we need more “gun control” (victim disarmament) laws? 

Unfortunately, criminals don’t obey law, and that includes gun control laws.  We need to keep guns out of the hands of felons and other dangerous individuals, and we have the technology to do so … unfortunately, the Attorney General’s office has failed to regularly update the list of prohibited individuals, and that has to change.  The real answer to the argument over gun control is to keep those who aren’t entitled to possess them from purchasing them and to restore laws that cracked down on committing crimes while using a firearm.  It is an unfortunate reality that the politicians in charge of Sacramento have chosen to decriminalize many felonies – including crimes involving the use of firearms, and that is where we need to start if we are going to start eliminating gun violence.

What is the single biggest challenge facing state Senate District 28?  

The biggest challenge facing the 28th Senate District is preserving and improving our quality of life.  With gas prices skyrocketing, our roads are still clogged and falling apart.  With home prices soaring, people can’t afford to buy homes and builders can’t afford to build them because of the high costs of permits and fees.  We need more high paying jobs, but employers can’t afford to open or expand here at the numbers we need because of costly lawsuits and high taxes.  If we are going to improve our quality of life, we should encourage our elected officials to lower our taxes, reduce regulations and make it easier to open, run and expand small businesses.  As a State Senator, that’s what I’ve been fighting for, and I would be honored to serve another term if the voters choose to re-elect me.