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Mike Thompson

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Cal., accompanied by singer Tony Bennett, left, actor and comedian Chris Rock, right, and others, speaks during a newss conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, to call on Congress to act on President Obama's plan to reduce gun violence. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

It is hard to argue that Congressman Mike Thompson has been anything but a great representative for his home county of Napa and the surrounding communities in the Fifth Congressional District.

Thompson has been tireless in his advocacy on issues that matter deeply to his constituents, from support for the expensive but crucial Napa flood control project to federal aid in the wake of the earthquakes and fires that have devastated communities across the district in recent years.

He is well-known for his high-touch constituent service and he has been a responsive and transparent resource for local officials and news organizations across the district.

And he has emerged as a leader on a number of national issues. His experience as a platoon leader wounded in combat in Vietnam has led him to be a strong advocate for veterans. As an avid sportsman, he has been an advocate for hunters and outdoorsmen. These combined experiences have made him a credible national voice for sensible, moderate gun regulation.

He has parlayed his personal experience in the wine industry to leadership on issues that affect Napa County’s flagship industry. He is a founder of the bipartisan Wine Caucus on Capitol Hill, which lists more than 200 legislators from across the country.

He has also been a co-author of and advocate for immigration reform measures that have bipartisan support.

These factors alone would be enough for our editorial board to recommend a vote for Thompson as he seeks his 11th term, but there is more.

The Register’s editorial board met with Thompson recently to discuss his reelection bid and we found him as energized and focused as we have ever seen him. He seems fired up for another term.

And why not? It is perfectly possible that Democrats could take control of the House of Representatives and Thompson would find himself in a senior position in the majority. He would likely become chairman of the Subcommittee on Tax Policy in the powerful Ways and Means Committee, bringing a powerful voice from Napa County into the complicated business of taxes.

Should the Democrats take the majority, there would necessarily be lots of congressional rookies in the party ranks, and Thompson would become a valuable elder statesmen, providing wisdom and experience for his new colleagues.

Thompson is opposed by three candidates, among them only one from Napa County.

We met with Jason Kishineff of American Canyon, a former pharmacy tech who is now a stay-at-home father. We were impressed with his passion and his command of the issues. He was an active supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary, but he left to join the Green Party after Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination.

His platform reflects those Sanders roots, calling for universal healthcare, free college tuition, and limits on big corporation control of politics and business.

Nils Palsson of Santa Rosa, meanwhile, is an unaffiliated candidate with similar roots in the Bernie Sanders movement. Like Kishineff, his platform is solidly on the progressive side.

The other candidate is former merchant mariner Anthony R. Mills of Vallejo. His exact platform is somewhat unclear, but it appears to involve disapproval of the high national debt, deploring the high cost of becoming a political candidate, criticizing current immigration laws, and warning against the danger of government-mandated microchips being implanted in Americans.

We applaud all three challengers for their willingness to stand for public office, and we’d certainly encourage them to continue their activism in future elections.

But for this office, there is simply no question that Mike Thompson has been an outstanding representative for his district and richly deserves your vote for another term.

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The Napa Valley Register Editorial Board consists of Publisher Brenda Speth, Editor Sean Scully, and public members Cindy Webber, Ed Shenk, Mary Jean Mclaughlin and Chris Hammaker.

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