AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Although fewer than half of residents were home when he stopped by, response has been very positive, he said. ‘It’s a whole lot easier to communicate with people if you’ve been to their homes,’ Newcomer said. ‘That’s the big difference between me and my opponents. Most people are impressed that a candidate would make the effort to come to their door – especially for an Assembly seat.’ Newcomer criticized incumbent Assemblyman Ron Calderon for spending too much time courting big business. So far, Newcomer, Calderon’s brother Charles, Pico Rivera Mayor David Armenta, and Montebello City Treasurer Gerri Guzman have formed campaign committees, indicating plans to run for the Assembly seat. ‘Since I’ve been into the neighborhoods, I know better what they want than those candidates who spend their time in Sacramento talking to the fat cats,’ Newcomer said. MONTEBELLO – Three pairs of shoes and 600 miles later, Owen Newcomer had just about visited his 16,000th home Tuesday morning. The Whittier City Council member figured that, with 47 houses left, and at a rate of 25 houses an hour, he would easily knock on the 16,000th door somewhere in Montebello by nightfall. While most candidates for the state Assembly are just getting their campaigns under way, Newcomer began walking door to door on June 6 of last year in his bid for the 58th Assembly District seat. He has set a goal of visiting 24,000 homes by June 6 – the day of the Democratic primary. ‘I wear a pedometer, so I know how far I’ve walked,’ said Newcomer. ‘By the time I’m finished, I’ll have walked the same distance as from here to Sacramento and back – about 1,000 miles.’ The 57-year-old candidate said he is visiting only the homes of 58th district voters who cast ballots in past Democratic primaries. He also plans to send follow-up letters to homes to remind voters of his personal visit. ‘Mine is different from Chuck Calderon’s approach. He’s talking to lobbyists, not the people he’s representing. Who does he represent? The lobbyists in Sacramento, or the people? I have a different perspective.’ Guzman could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Armenta, who started campaigning two months ago, said meeting with voters will be the key to winning the seat. ‘I’ve been out there,’ he said. ‘Whoever wins that race must meet the people and go to the homes.’ Charles Calderon said during his tenure as an Assembly member in the 1980s and as state Senator in the 1990s, he saw residents through several major crises – experience that Newcomer lacks. ‘I have a record of representing the people of that community in times of crisis for 16 years,’ Calderon said. ‘I represented them during the Whittier Earthquake (of 1987) when I called a special session and helped provide grants and loans to homes, businesses and governments to rebuild. ‘(Newcomer’s) never been in a crisis. That’s when you need true leadership.’ Newcomer’s extensive door-to-door visits will not give him an edge, said Calderon. He believes that starting so early will only result in people forgetting Newcomer when they go to the polls in June. ‘He started last June 6. Who’s going to remember him?’ Calderon said. ‘Unless he has the ability to talk to them and remind them through a mail program and he doesn’t have the money. In any event, this is a Latino district. They haven’t elected a non-Latino in 30 years. (Newcomer) just doesn’t have the loyalty base.’ [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!