Schaupp enters race for 3rd Congressional District
Name: Charlie Schaupp
City of residence: Esparto
Political party: Republican
Occupation: Retired member, U.S. Marine Corps; part of family farming operation
Experience: Candidate for California Assembly in 2008 and 2010; former trustee, Esparto Unified School District; former chair, Yolo County Republican Party; former director, Yolo County Taxpayers' Association.
Ben van der Meer
For Tri-County Newspapers
In a redrawn 3rd Congressional District home to numerous farms and two U.S. Air Force bases, Esparto farm family member and U.S Marine Corps veteran Charlie Schaupp said he's a good fit as the Republican Party candidate.
"I believe this is a very winnable race," said Schaupp, 57, one of five announced candidates hoping to take on presumed incumbent U.S. Rep. John Garamendi in November. "There's enough independent and common-sense voters in this district, and they're not going to go for nonsense from John Garamendi."
Though perhaps best known for running for the Assembly against fellow Republican Jim Nielsen — and making an issue of whether Nielsen actually lived in the district — Schaupp is also a former school district board member and part of a multi-generational farming family.
He said he was running because with the district's new boundaries, it's virtually an open seat even with the well-known Garamendi running in it.
Schaupp said he's running on three main platforms: restoring fiscal responsibility to Congress, entrusting more to local government and protecting both Beale Air Force Base and Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield.
Much of his philosophy stems from his sense of what the nation's founders would've wanted, he said.
"The Founding Fathers never meant for this oligarchy of government," he said.
And local government is best because it's closest to the people and local issues, he said. While he was a school board member, the school district in Esparto got a bond measure passed because district officials convinced voters the projects would be built with fiscal prudence, then followed through, he said. Protecting the bases means making sure they're not encroached on from the outside, even if it means opposing housing on their boundaries, he said.
"Those two bases needed to be protected from encroachment," he said.
Though he's been involved in mostly politics in recent years, Schaupp has farmed watermelons and his family has grown alfalfa, sunflowers, wheat, almonds and other crops in Yolo County.
Even though the GOP primary has candidates from across a district stretching from Yuba-Sutter to Solano County, Schaupp is already focusing on facing off against Garamendi.
"The contrast will be huge," he said. "He worked for the Peace Corps. I worked for the Marine Corps."